So this is motherhood.

That, to your left, is one sick little boy. Miserable with snot. Hopped up on triaminic. Showered with popsicles and tissues.

Blame it on preschool. Blame it on his little snot nosed friend that always seems sick. Blame it on the flu shot he got Friday. Whatever the reason, Count Waffles the Terrible got hit hard by the mother-of-all snot producing viruses this weekend and is threatening to bring the rest of the house down with him.

As we sat in a steamed up bathroom at 1am, the smell of Vic’s nearly burning my nostrils and not even remotely affecting his, I wondered how often this scene is repeated in homes across the world. I clearly remember doing it with my Mother. Having your achey body pulled from the couch to sit all sweaty on Mom’s lap, reeking of menthol, while your PJ’s cling to your chest.

I sat there rocking, singing, trying to soothe him in anyway I could. Wishing this nasty, nasty germ would pack up and get the hell out of our house. And then I smacked myself back into reality. We are very lucky. We are very, very, very lucky. And don’t you ever, ever forget that. He only has a cold. One of one million he will have. One of many hundreds of times we will sit in this vaporized bathroom and on a slick, cool toilet.

The reason I smacked myself back into reality, during what can rightfully be called a suck-ass Motherhood moment, is because I remembered a friend. She’s not even a friend really. More someone I knew for a short period of time. We did Stroller Strides together, back after the Count was born and her son was about his age. She had her second baby right after (or was it right before?) I had the Princess. They moved away. They moved away and I forgot about them. I forgot about them and I got an email. I got an email that made me always, always remember how good things are around here. You see, her second child, born just before (or was it after?) my second child, has cancer. Cancer. Just typing that hurts.

At 2 months old, little Cruz was diagnosed with Acute Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer. They found it at his routine 2 month check up. He has undergone multiple rounds of Chemotherapy, had major surgery to remove the tumor, and is expected to undergo more chemo. I get email updates through the Stroller Strides network. The last one I got made me sick in the way only a mother feels sick. In the pit of her stomach. In the deep, dark, depths of her larger than life heart.

Cruz was going into surgery. The family had been through so very much. In and out of the hospital so, so many times in his short life. Apparently everytime they go into this hospital, Cruz is put into the standard yellow and black pediatric gown. This time, when the hour came to put Cruz in that gown and take him to surgery, his mother lost it. She did not want to put that damn gown on him again. She just couldn’t stand to see him in that yellow and black thing one more time. It was her breakdown moment. The moment, this always perky, cheerful girl, finally had enough. Over a gown. She is so brave. So very brave. And her equally brave husband calmed her down. Talked her down. And they dressed the baby in that gown and sent him off to surgery. While I will never understand what this family is going through, I understand how dressing her little baby in that hospital gown this last time broke her. Cruz came out of the surgery well. He’s got more chemo scheduled. They are continuing the battle.

So as I ramp up for another day of snot and tissues and vic’s and triaminic and thermometers. I’ll keep telling myself, its only a cold. Its only a cold. Its only a cold.

Anyone interested in donating to the Barron family for Cruz’s skyrocketing medical costs, feel free to contact me.


  1. Poor thing! I hope he’s on the mend!

  2. I just got an update on Cruz. He just finished round 6 of chemo and is reported to be happily playing. Whew. The Count is now coughing. That’s always great for a good night’s (or not) sleep.
    I added a link on the left of my page for Cruz information.

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