Amaya had the flu two weeks ago, and then she admitted she had swallowed a quarter in an unrelated medical emergency.
As a side effect of these events, Amaya briefly became very introspective. She faced her imminent death. She compared her misery to better moments, asking me if I could recall times when quarters were not in danger of being removed from one’s intestines. We reassured her over and over again that she would feel better eventually. When she woke up on the third day, she cried because she knew she was still sick and she knew it was unfair. She hugged and cuddled and spoke quietly for about five days. She didn’t enjoy eating and mealtimes were made of tears. I let her watch Phineas and Ferb for longer than anyone should.
Then she got better. We washed the vomit off the car. The quarter was not present at the xray. Her tantrums started making us shake our heads and send her to time out again. She lost a tooth and the tooth fairy remembered to visit, this time. The hole in her smile is hopefully as momentary as her new inability to smile naturally.
Temporary and fleeting hardship is the sweetness of childhood. Recent tragedies make me so amazed and grateful at the constant change and impermanence that exists in my life. Children deserve that.