The instinctive urge to protect your child from seeing unpleasant things sometimes bumps right up against the unavoidable.
I had a headache today that may have developed from not drinking enough water or from waiting too long to eat lunch. The headache made me nauseated, which got worse as the afternoon wore on. I picked up William from school and after a very fast trip to Publix, we came home so I could collapse on the sofa. I felt terrible because I had promised him a trip to the swimming pool, but I just couldn't face the pool today--actually, I couldn't face the long walk uphill to the pool, let alone the pool itself.
So I plunked my impressionable young son down in front of the TV and proceeded to play three back-to-back episodes of "Sesame Street" for him while I lay on the sofa and felt queasy. Finally, the inevitable occurred. Unfortunately, my inquisitive little son toddled into the bathroom after me. Poor little guy was worried about his mama, but I was,um, otherwise engaged, I suppose, and I just sort of waved him frantically back and hunched over the toilet. But he came back right up to me a few seconds later and said, "I sorry mama sick" and then "I want mama feel better soon."
And then he bent over and dropped his little arms around me hugged me. Because he knew that's what I do to make it all better. And he wanted to make it all better for his mama.
If that's not a glint of the sublime amidst the sordid, well, I don't know what is.