Hudson’s eyes looked trustingly at me. He didn’t like medicine (who does?) but at this point he could tolerate it well enough. It wasn’t going to be a wrestling match. This time. He groaned in gentle protest, like he knew what was coming, but he wasn’t up for a fight. It had been a tiring day and we both were spent. I could hear the heart monitor gently beeping in the background. We dimmed the lights as a couple nurses came in and fussed a bit, confirming his medication and trying to make the room feel less like the hospital we were in. One of the nurses asked, “Would he take it better from you?” I replied that he would without much thinking about it. It was true, of course. I had given him medicine countless times- we had a routine. Familiarity. Consistency. I was “safe”. That’s why I was there. I am Hudson’s person. My presence helped him stay calm. He knew me. Trusted me. Safety. Familiarity. Routine. That’s the key.
I will. Yes. I’ll do it. She gave me the syringe. Clear liquid. Taken by mouth. No biggie. “You got this, little guy. Daddy’s right here.” He takes liquids well. Aspirin. Ibuprofen. Vitamins. Done it a thousand times. Routine. Consistency. Repetition. “Ready?” I showed Hudson the syringe. His eyes told me he knew what was happening and that he was ready.
He opened his mouth a bit, and without any protest, without any spills, without anything happening worth mentioning at all really, medication that could stop a man’s heart slid silently out of the syringe in my hand and down my son’s throat. Continue reading