Curious Aiden

“Mommy, I had a goooooodnap. Can we go to the library now?”

While working on my last blog post, this – spoken in a sweet, squeaky, post-nap voice – is what I heard coming from Aiden’s room. As I leaned my desk chair back and peered out of my office, all I saw was a mop of crazy, sleep-spiked hair peeking out behind the baby gate blocking the doorway of his “big-boy” room.


I quickly released the gate pressure and kissed his nose. “Yes, let’s go!” When a toddler’s request is actually granted, it is as if time stands still. In an instant Aiden’s shoes were on, hair was flattened and coat buttoned. Without hesitation, we were in the car, ready to go, only moments later. Ahhhhh, if only we could leave the house with such ease every day.


This was our first official trip to the library. Aiden’s treatment and recovery didn’t afford us many opportunities to go to very public places. Now that Aiden has no restrictions and I am taking some time off, I have decided to jump at these chances and relish in all of life’s simple pleasures. Aiden, of course, had an objective in mind: Curious George books and lots of them.


Ashburn library was packed as we made our way to the information desk; we were in need of a library card. As I filled out paperwork, Aiden again shared his love of George with the librarian. She obliged his adoration with a description of her favorite tale about the trouble-seeking monkey – George Visits the Library.


We spent a max of 10 minutes in the Children’s section after locating the H A Rey books. Aiden found what he wanted and, after bargaining with him to not take the entire Curious George collection, we left with our loot. Aiden wanted to read his new library books with mommy in his rocking chair.




That evening I held my little love-bug and gently rocked back and forth feeling his soft, damp, towel-dried hair against my cheek. I simultaneously breathed in the sweet scent of lavender and vanilla that had soaked his little body only minutes earlier. I was truly relishing in the moment and treasuring every millisecond.




Aiden was emphatically shaking Curious George Goes to the Hospital in my face. In an instant, I returned to the present, awoken from my little reverie. The worn plastic book cover crackled as I opened it and began to read. As we got deeper and deeper into the story (it was a long one) I noticed Aiden was hanging onto every, single word.


(SPOILER ALERT – Unbeknownst to the man in the yellow hat, George swallows a puzzle piece. He quickly becomes symptomatic and is brought to the hospital. Following imaging, an endoscopic procedure is performed to remove the impediment. George recovers then causes trouble but ends up saving the day.)


Right after reading that George received an x-ray, Aiden asked me if George was also going to “get a shot and go in the big machine.”


My heart literally stopped.


Aiden was speaking of the imaging and tests that he gets done. I quickly said, “Yes, George will go in the big machine just like you.” I could feel the tears welling in my eyes.


So…there I rocked…realizing that my little baby is truly a little baby no more.


Aiden then showed me the crook of his left arm where he had received his last blood draw. A small yellow-purple bruise started back at us. Aiden likes to show off his “blood” as he calls it.


The most recent time Aiden received scans and blood work, he put up a fight. He hates the anesthesia mask. The second we entered the imaging room at the hospital, he clung to my body and begged me to take him home. Honestly, stepping in front of the “big machine” I felt the exact same way. Helplessly, I hugged his little body and covered his head with a million kisses. The incredibly kind anesthesiologist sang nursery rhymes which immediately calmed my little man down.


Aiden is thriving and developing, as a three-year old should, which is amazing given all that he has been through. Like George, though, Aiden is often very curious. Even though I would like to encapsulate the times we go in for scans and visit the oncologist, I realize that Aiden may in fact be seeking more information now. I don’t plan to sit my three-year old down and talk about cancer per-say, but I do plan to give him age appropriate information and offer him an outlet to express his feelings.


Aiden should feel safe and in control. I think that it may be time to visit the radiology office for fun. I want Aiden to meet with some of the doctors and see a few pictures taken by the “big machine.”


After tucking Aiden into his toddler bed, adorned with Curious George sheets, he asked me if George was going to be okay. “Yes, George is brave little monkey just like you.” With a big smile on his face, we kissed goodnight.


As I turned off his bedroom light and shut the door, I again heard that squeaky, sleep-laden voice, “I love you, mommy.”


“…and I love you my sweet, big boy.”