Last night, Joe-Henry was coughing up a lung, that horrible, deep, wracking, wet cough, when I went in with my bottle of pink medicine. He would rather get hit by a bus, eaten by a dinosaur, get poked in the eye with a nasty eye-poking stick or cough all night long than take that medicine. He's never even tried it, but he knows it tastes like "burning fire".
But I am the mother, and I will not be moved, and he must. He MUST. So he wails and flails, and tells me he hates it, and I am a "mean mom", and then, he DOES. He opens his mouth, his face red with anger and effort, his cheeks wet with tears. There is the requisite "YUCK", and the thrashing of sheets, and "Why are you so MEAN?!" And after a few minutes of sniffling, he settles down again, as I smooth his covers and rub his back. It's quiet again, no coughing, no tears, just his arm around my neck, his warm hand on my cheek.
"Mom, you and Dad love me so good. Your love is as sturdy as the Great Wall of China".
And with that, we both went to sleep.
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