One single tear pooled in the corner of Will's eye.
He was wrapped tight like a burrito, head cradled in a mash of foam and plastic, feet the only large body part he could move.
Except for his mouth, which quivered and his eyes. Which showed exhaustion and fear.
And one single tear.
It was the third MRI attempt of the day. Somehow that was appropriate given the circumstances that had brought us to the emergency room of our children's hospital. An upset stomach out of the blue brought me to the elementary school to see what was what. Instinct told me to take him to be checked out at the hospital. After tests and tests and more tests and multiple IV insertion attempts, the X-ray film showed that the tube that drains the built-up fluid from Will's noggin had a break. One of the signs that something is amiss with a shunt is vomiting -- and as it has been six years since there'd been an issue, I've been very cognizant of the fact that we were on borrowed time with the shunt function.
My sweet boy is no stranger to this drill. I err on the side of caution when it comes to health issues than might indicate a larger neurological problem. So we've been through this exercise before. But it never gets any easier for him, even though he's maturing in so many amazing ways.
That one single tear. He was trying to be brave. But he was scared. Understandably so.
And as that lone tear rolled down his cheek, now covered with adolescent acne and the peach fuzz of grown-up sideburns of a young man, all I could see was my baby.
My baby is having brain surgery tomorrow. That sounds daunting. It is daunting.
I can't fix this. Can't be in the operating room. I have to cede control to Will's doctors and the Great Physician. Faith is the name of the game. As it always is when one is Will's mommy.
Doesn't make it easy. But it is necessary.
Not going to lie -- I've shed a lot more than one tear today. Mostly because my baby is hurting. Breaks a mama's heart. But this is what we do in our family. This is our normal.
And so we go on. Tears sometimes in our eyes. But always simply one foot in front of the other.