But this was Noelle, always happy, always talking, always telling me that she was OK, even with her previous bouts of illness, Noelle would simply say, "I'm not feeling that well mommy, but I'll be OK."
"Noelle." I called softly, she turned and looked at me, puffy eyes and sad little face, "Why don't you come sleep in my bed tonight?" I gave her the sticky blue medicine. Afterwards Noelle shakily laid back down without answering my question.
"Why don't you come and sleep in my bed?" I repeated in her ear as I rubbed her back. She turned her head partially to look back at me. "I don't want to." She stated. Whined actually. I was shocked and for a moment speechless, as she never turned down any opportunity to cuddle next to me. My heart raced as I thought about leaving her alone. I couldn't do it.
Before I knew it, I had retrieved my pillow, was scooting her over and slipping into her little twin bed. I had to be there with her. Usually, when I get the mama paranoia, I am able to shake it off and go back to my normal routine. I know all parents feel the "mirror to the nose" paranoia at one time or another. For years, if none of my children woke me up during the night, I would wake up and go check to see what was wrong. This night was a little different, the paranoia - the fear was so...gripping. All I could do to alleviate it was to make the decision to stay awake all night long to be with her.