The goddess has a cough. It’s one of those post nasal drip coughs that keeps her (and me) awake all night. It’s the sort of cough no medication will ease. As soon as she gets horizontal, the drip begins and tortures us both all night.
It started Saturday night. I had a full house, with seven 12 year old girls in one room and two 14 year old boys in another. The goddess was in bed with me to get her out of the way. The cough began and lasted all night.
Last night, I was up reading, and she was coughing. I went up and gave her an antihistamine, hoping it would help. I repositioned her pillows. I told her to come get me if she needed me.
Then I went back downstairs and resumed my book. We are reading “Carrie” for our book group. I had just gotten to the part where buckets of pig blood are poured over Carrie and her date. Carrie has run screaming from the dance. I was starting to feel pleasantly creeped out, anticipating the revenge. “Carrie’s back,” observes one character. “Yes, she is,”the other agrees.
At that moment, my bedroom door silently swung open and my heart jumped. The dogs were already in the room and my husband was not home yet. My mouth was slightly ajar, my heart rate was elevated and my hands were clammy. There was a long moment of nothing, then the goddess glided silently through the door. She was dressed in a long white t-shirt, her hair a tangled cloud around her head; a small ghostly figure. I nearly wet myself.
“Mommy,” she whimpered plaintively, “I can’t stop coughing.”
The tension drained out of me as quickly as it had come. She was not going to telekinetically lob rocks at me. She was not going to use any paranormal abilities to set my bed on fire. She just needed her mommy.
I pulled my tubercular tot into my arms and turned out the light. She continued to cough, shaking the bed with the force of her spasms. I really should have stopped letting her smoke those unfiltered Camels years ago.
My husband finally got home and he agreed to sleep in bed with her. I went upstairs to her room to try and get some sleep. Right now, she is still asleep and I guess I will take her to school late. Then I’m going to finish my book. In an open field. In the broad daylight. Where no one can sneak up on me!!