We scored today. Got the baby her H1N1 vaccine without much more than an "eh" and a Snoopy band-aid. The nurse was solid. Love that. What I couldn't help but notice was the new mom and 6 month old who went before us. Since our pediatrician is offering H1N1 vaccines clinic style we were ushered into a small conference room where two more babies were awaiting their lightning fast puncture wound. We watched and listened as one little white-bow-in-her-hair sweetie pie cried so mournfully it made me, the veteran mom, tear up. It made Grayson worry. It made Abby crane her head sideways to see. We all sad-faced on sympathetically as the grandma rolled baby's pant leg back down and scooped her off and up the stairwell. Then New Mom was up. She gingerly plucked her smiling baby boy from the warm nest of his Baby Bjorn and leaned in to observe the fine print on the nurse's paperwork.
New Mom: Could you please write down the serial numbers? Thank you.
Nurse: Yes, I will.
New Mom: This is the H1N1 vaccine?
Nurse: Yes. It is.
New Mom: Thank you. I just want to be sure. Thanks.
Nurse: unwraps the alcohol swab
New Mom: This is not the seasonal flu shot, correct? You are going to give him the H1N1 vaccine?
Nurse: Yes ma'am. It is H1N1, not the seasonal flu vaccine. We are not giving those out at this time.
New Mom Interrupting: Because you offer both here and I have to be sure ...
Nurse of the Awesomest: Yes. I understand. Can you please hold his arm this way and...
New Mom Still Freaking Out: I'm sorry. I just have to ask one more time and verify that you said this is in fact the swine flu vaccination, the H1N1?
Unfathomably Patient And Professional Nurse: Yes. Swine Flu, H1N1 vaccination. Yes ma'am.
New Mom with Feet of Clay: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for your patience. This is my first time.
You don't say. Poor new moms. I remember that phase. Not until watching this parody unfold in front of me did I realize I myself was definitely past this new mom phase. There I sat with my two little wiggling gypsies (rather quietly if I may boast) and the only thing on my mind other than hoping Abby wouldn't cry too much was if I should try to squeeze in a quick shopping trip to Giant after this appointment. My how quickly the tides change, don't they? It wasn't that long ago when I was checking and rechecking the fine print. Asking obnoxious and horribly accusatory questions to qualified professionals. Making a complete and utter mommy buffoon of myself and not caring because this precious new start in life was in my arms and I couldn't screw one minute of him up.
God bless you new moms. You hold your babies close. You throw your hair back in a ponytail but make sure your little bundle has on matching socks. You are tired. You are raw. You are gloriously protective (rightfully so) and when I am lucky enough to be in your presence I am reminded of how much of that I have already lost.
Then I look at these two perfect goofballs and am reminded of how much I have gained.
The torch burns brightly on both sides.