Today I took Raphael to the doctor because he had this weird assortment of symptoms that worried me. It doesn't matter what was wrong with him, because as it turns out, the doctor thinks it's pretty minor and easily dealt with.
"I think the only thing to be cautious about..." he looked at me meaningfully, "...is making certain he isn't getting any secondary gains from this behavior, which could exacerbate it. I think everything will be fine, quickly, as long as he doesn't get an undue amount of attention and concern over it." He all but tapped out in morse code on the exam table, "I diagnose him with worried mother. Back off, lady, and he'll be fine."
So okay, fine. We toddled off, and since it was just the two of us for once, I took him out for lunch, and it was lovely. We also stopped by the store to pick up the medicine the doctor recommended, and it was there, standing in line, that I did the worst thing ever.
Well, I thought to myself, with a bit of a huff, maybe it all will be fine, or then again maybe the doctor is entirely wrong and Raphael will start really going downhill and showing some of those scary, second-level symptoms...
Now, please don't misunderstand me here. I'm not telling you I actually MADE HIM SICK or anything like that. What I'm confessing is the small, shrivelled-heart part of me that was looking for vindication - at the expense of my son - because I was still stinging at some perceived judgement.
And no, I didn't hurt Raphael, and I'd like to imagine I never would. But you never will know what damage you're capable of doing when the desire to be right overwhelms the desire for truth.
I repented, of course. And here I am, confessing. I just think it's not fair that parenthood doesn't come with a get-out-of-broken-humanity-free card. I just don't.