I just took the babe to the docs. He's okay, first of all. That's always first of all. Sick, but doing okay.
The doctor told me if I wasn't breastfeeding, J would be in hospital for intravenous rehydration. He also told me that if a woman has compromised nutrition and her baby has a viral illness, the woman likely won't be able to feed her baby enough. He used the vague, kind phrase 'carry them off'.
Six thousand a die are 'carried off'.
First time I've been grateful for being fat in a while.
Having a child makes the world seem a fragile, dangerous place. It makes me angry, and tired, and strong. Also, it makes me willing to be a fucking pain, a self righteous fuck, willing to use any trick, cheat or favour to get my child healthy.
People talk a lotlotlot about children, about how we should and what we must and not ever and who does what and how awful and yes this is the best statistics show and if what then when why.
But what I mostly notice is the incredible power a child has. This small thing. Love is thick, tangible, embarrassing, desperate, almost ugly. So vast you don't even begin to know how to say it. What blows me away is how everyday this is, this love, fear, superhuman strength. All along, all those families dragging their kids round garden centres. Whining and trailing sweetie wrappers and talking about ballet classes. Their petty lives.
All along, they had *this* to deal with?
I had no idea.
J leans his cheek on my face and the small slight, softness of him, the warmth of his skin. The warmth of his skin.
(A packet of rehydration salts cost twenty pence. Bargain! Fifty lives for the price of a round of drinks!)