The day I fell from a pedestal

Danie Toerien.

Danie Toerien.

With my Tiggy Wiggy, I went from hero to zero not because of a teacher, but because of one simple little blood test.

All parents believe their children are the best at everything. And that’s the way it should be. I am no different, except for one detail.

I never believed that my Tiggy Wiggy was the fastest. She definitely was the cleverest and cutest and she knew how to wrap me around her little finger. But she was never the athletic sort. I am not blind to my children’s faults. Not that a lack of athletic talent is a fault. Or a shortcoming. But you know what I mean.

Today is my Tiggy Wiggy’s birthday. She’s turning 24. And after 24 years, she is still the cutest, cleverest and prettiest. From a child’s perspective, parents are usually their first superheroes. It’s the parents who can kiss their pain away, drive the monsters out from under the bed and protect them from getting nightmares. But this usually doesn’t last long.

The role of superhero is very often taken over by their first teacher, who knows absolutely everything about everything. And more. With my Tiggy Wiggy, I went from hero to zero not because of a teacher, but because of one simple little blood test.

She was five and I was tasked with taking her to our local hospital for a blood test. She was the bravest little girl. When the needle was inserted into her arm, she didn’t even flinch. I, on the other hand, could feel my legs turning to jelly with the first whiff of the swab used to clean my baby’s arm.

Then, at the first sight of the needle, my legs needed support from my arms. And when the first drops of blood sprayed into the vial, I remember seeing the fascinated look on my Tiggy Wiggy’s face on my way down to the tiles.

I woke up on a hospital bed with my little superhero standing next to me, gently stroking my arm, asking if I was okay. A cup of tea and three biscuits later, the sister checked my blood pressure before handing me my car keys.

Not my finest hour. Happy Birthday, Tiggy. I may not be your superhero any more, but you’re still the cutest and cleverest.

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