Jumby was off yesterday. He didn't seem sick. He was just not himself. There was no commando crawling through the kitchen to sneak up behind me and bite the heels of my feet. (Yes, he's a carnivore and delights in feeding off the dead skin on the backs of my feet.)

There was no gleeful shouting of "Go!Go!Go!" followed by "Mumma! Mumma!" as he kicked back and forth on my lap.

There were no high fives, no peek-a-boo's, no kissing (which is really more of ' I'm gonna open my mouth and see if I can bite mommy's lips with my teeth'.)

There was, however, a whole lot of lethargy and falling asleep on my chest at the blink of the eye. It was like I was raising a wee little narcoleptic.

At first the husband and I weren't worried. We chalked Jumby's sleepiness to his late night partying the night before. The kid has a thing for strippers and disco balls in his bedroom. What can I say?

But as the day progressed so did the severity of Jumby's lethargy and I found myself reliving the past.

"I think I should take him in. My mommy radar is going off."

"Then you should take him in," Boo agreed, looking worried as he held the zombie we called our son.

"But it's late and we'll likely just end up sitting in emerg all damn night and then they'll send us home with slap on the ass and orders to call the pediatrician. I hate that."

"Well, then don't take him in. I trust you."

"That's the problem, I don't trust me." The last time it was late at night, and I found myself with a sick child who may or may not have required emergency care, I vascillated on taking him to the hospital. I did all the right things, I called the right people, I followed the right advice but instead of listening to my instincts, I ignored it because it was late at night, I was exhausted and I didn't want to spend all night in an emergency room.

I've played the game of 'What-if' ever since. What if I took Bug in right away? What if I didn't wait? What if the doctors had more time? What if, what if, what if. Two crueler words to a grieving parent, I can't imagine.

Those 'What-if's' swirled in my head last night as I stood in the exact same spot I had four years ago, looking at my husband holding yet another sick little boy.

Deja-vu stopped by to drop kick me in the stomach.

I knew when we adopted a special needs child there would be moments like this. Dark moments in which I'd face the past while wrestling the 35 pound ghost of a certain angel boy who hangs off my back.

I knew adopting a special needs child would mean late nights in an emergency room, hospital stays and getting to know every pediatric specialist a girl can imagine once again.

I knew a whole lot. Or so I thought.

But I forgot how much it hurts to be helpless when your child is ill and there isn't anything you can do to make them feel better.

I forgot how exhausting it is to spend the night bedside to a child while wringing your hands with worry and hoping the doctors you entrusted your child's well-being with, are up to the task.

I forgot how long and lonely the drive to the hospital can be in the dead of the night.

Last night, it all flooded back.

Jumby is better now, dropping his zombie impersonation and becoming more boyish with every hour that passes.

And as I sit beside him and watch him play quietly with a rubber ball, yawning from last night's drama, I remembered something else.

The reason we signed up for this gig in the first place. No matter what happens, no matter how many late nights in the emergency room I have to endure, or even what the ultimate ending to Jumby's story may be, it is all worth it.

I love this kid.

That's the best lesson deja-vu can drop on my head any time.

***I'm a little late on the uptake, but I'd like to thank the Babble editors for naming me as one of their top 50 Mommy Bloggers. There are some fabulous writers on that list and if you are looking for some new reads, I suggest heading over there to check it out.***

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