You’re so little, sitting on the bench beside me, absorbed in the books scattered around as I talk to the doctor and learn what all of the potential problems may be.
So cute as you smirk, your secret smile of satisfaction at seeing the doctor at work. She listens to your heart and lungs, looks at your eyes, checks your mouth and teeth.
Unsure as you lay down on your back and then your tummy and cold hands gently poke and prod and discover things that answer questions and cause a whole new list to cascade through my mind. We pretend to blow out candles, long slow exhales that relax and distract as I encourage and hold your hand.
Nervous as we trace veins in my arm and then in yours. I marvel at the pure white of your skin, the delicate translucence with a map of tiny blue lines.
Brave when the needle pokes. You cry into my neck but are still as the statue I asked you to be. And then you turn your head to look again, unable to conquer your curiosity of all things medical even while it makes you scream.
We hug in the hallway, your arms around my neck, me on my knees. Comforting you is the most important thing and I will extend this moment for as long as you need it. This is a different kind of strength I have to have.