The door creaked opened and my nine-year old tiptoed to our bed.
“Luke’s crying will you get him?” he asked.
Thankful for the glow of the lamp that was left on in the den; I made my way to his crib. I expected to find him scared from a bad dream, needing a gentle pat or a kiss on his forehead, but instead I discovered my 18 month old gasping for air.
I quickly picked him up, cradled his shaken body while his arms tightly gripped the back of my neck.
“Hurry, go get your dad,” I hoarsely whispered.
His chest up against mine tightened back and forth and back and forth. He clinched the collar of my pajamas with his little fingers.
Like timed contractions, our toddler wheezed and struggled to breathe and when relief came, he collapsed on my shoulder. Minutes later it began all over again.
Panic and fear and thoughts that run wild set in as J and I stared at each other.
“We need to go to the hospital,” I said.
“Let me call first,” and he was on the phone, carefully watching his son from a distance.
But within minutes his wheezing stopped. He climbed out of my arms and onto the floor. He poked his head into a basketful of toys. He jumped on pillows. He found a ball.
After the panic and fear and thoughts run wild moment passed, I thought of the Cheerios box that Luke had overturned in the kitchen earlier that day. I fussed as they crunched beneath my feet. “I’m never buying these again,” I mumbled.
And I thought of my blue measuring spoon found behind a pillow on the couch. Luke had strewn out silverware from the dishwasher to the den to the dog’s bed.
And I watched him peacefully sleep beside me, calmly inhaling and exhaling. I breathed my own sigh of relief. How perspectives can change in the midst of panic and fear and thoughts that run wild. I was grateful for the steady rhythm of his breath but thankful for those other moments too. I’m thankful for those moments of scattered puzzle pieces and one-sided conversations and thankful to be the one that gets to witness it all.