The Day I Couldn't Hold My Son: As a Mom It's a Memory I Will Never Forget by Dawn Taylor
Waiting for results from a CT scan for my son, I couldn’t hold him anymore. A scan looking for cancer.
Left alone in a pediatric hospital room with a crib he wanted no part of, my son wanted to be held. I was tired beyond words, a single mother. Holding him wasn’t easy; his weight already 35 pounds.
My arms wrapped tightly around him, my knees buckled in slow motion as I let him slide to the hospital floor. I said to him in frustration, exhaustion, helplessness, “I can’t do it. I can’t do it.”
For a few minutes I didn’t move while he crawled away. He could walk, but chose to crawl. I realized he was tired, too. I pulled myself together and picked him up feeling like the world’s worst mother.
Soon after came the results.
I stared at the doctors as one said quickly, matter of factly, “No tumor.” My pediatrician explained a viral infection was the only explanation. No cancer.
Looking back, the joy I felt in that moment was buried by the overwhelming guilt and shame of a mother who couldn’t hold her son. My failing in that moment has taught me that I am human. That I’m not invincible. I’m just an imperfect mother who fell to the floor.
But I got back up.
Photo: The most recent picture of my son working at a summer camp. He is now 21 and a junior in college.