now I know

When my sister’s twins were born, our aunt sent her a card in which she wrote, “Now you know how much your parents love you.” It struck my sister as absolutely true.

When Zoe was born, I thought of the truth of what my aunt had written and thought I had completely digested it. I was wrong.

These past weeks, Zoe has been battling pneumonia. Now that the second round of antibiotics has done it’s job, she is surfacing, but her days are still a pendulum swing from teary and puny in the morning to giggly and energetic at night. It keeps Mark and me on our toes.

Yesterday, before we knew that the antibiotic had worked, I was at school and Zoe was languishing around the house with Mark who was trying to gauge whether or not school was in her future. We had been so confident the night before that this would be the week she attended school.

I bet I called Mark eight times in a span of four hours to find out Zoe’s status. Kindly, Mark always answered the phone and gave me an update. I felt so torn all morning until I knew she had ventured to school. I wanted to be at work doing what I love and I wanted to be with Zoe. It wasn’t until I was driving to pick her up for the doctor after school that it hit me… I had behaved exactly as my mom did when I had intensive chemotherapy seven years ago and my own energy pendulum swung wildly from day to day. Every morning, often multiple times, she would call to see how I was. On the really bad days, she would show up minutes after I hung up the phone. On other days she would gauge my voice. If it sounded strong, she could keep going about her day, but if I sounded at all hesitant another call would follow a half an hour later.

I remember sometimes being at work when I would get these calls. I always answered, but I remember wondering why she would call me even when I was at work to hear the sound of my voice and gauge my energy level for the day.

Now I know.