Cherry Scented Sleep

Sophie’s scheduled to have surgery tomorrow. She has an inguinal hernia. It’s minor, outpatient surgery—the actual operation only lasts about 45 minutes. I had the same surgery when I was 6.

One of the biggest comforts in my life has been my dad always saying he would take on any illness, surgery or procedure for me, if he could. I always understood the love in those statements and now, I find myself repeating them.

We bought and read Sophie the book, Franklin Goes to the Hospital. She loves being read to but often she’s fidgety. However, she was perfectly still during the entire length of this book, and so quiet after—even when we tried to talk to her about it.

We took her on a tour of the hospital—Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus. It was wonderful. She practiced being weighed and having her blood pressure taken. She sat on the bed that she will be wheeled in from the prep room to the room in which she’s given the medicine to be put to sleep. She got to smell all the different scents she can choose from—bubble gum, grape and, her favorite, cherry. She got to practice putting the mask on a doll on a bed. She got to ride around in the wheelchair she’ll sit in when leaving the hospital. She loved it.

They sent her home with goodies, for her and the boys—gloves, masks, hospital cap, gas mask, disposable thermometer and coloring pages. Since then, every so often I’ll peek into her bedroom when she has the door closed and I’ll see this:

When I ask her the scent her baby doll chooses to go to sleep, she always says, “all of them.” She then pretends to cut, then cuddles her doll baby—her doll baby always gets through the operation just fine, as I’m sure Sophie will, too.

I get to hold her, well, one of us gets to hold but I think Andy knows I’m, selfishly, wanting to do it, while she’s put to sleep. And we get to be there when she wakes up.

She’ll be fine. They do these all the time. It’s so minor. We’ll most likely be home in time for dinner and she’ll most likely be back at school, running around, on Monday.

Still, I’d do it for her in heartbeat, if I could.

“Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.” —John Steinbeck