It was cool yellows and blues and greens outside when I brought The Boss to the lab for bloodwork this morning. Inside, the empty office was shockingly white. It smelled of a cleaning product and paint combo. The Boss, though feverish and fatigued for the five days prior, galloped around the waiting room with vigor. When the sole phlebotomist on duty brought us back to the bloodwork room, she gestured to Number Two and asked who was going to hold him. I looked at her, I looked at him, and I looked at The Boss. "I am," I said.
"Then who's going to sit with her?"
"She can sit there by herself," I said.
The nurse gave me a skeptical look. A four year old? Alone in that stark white seat for a blood draw? Well, I never. "If she can't sit still, I'll have to send you to another lab with more staff. I'm all alone here."
I nodded. I was, strangely, not worried.
The Boss climbed into the chair with the kind of confident ease she brings to everything she does. The nurse tied the rubbery band tight around her arm and, without fanfare and with only a "don't move, now," slid the needle into her arm. The Boss watched everything, unflinchingly.
It was over in seconds, and the nurse was flabbergasted. That's what she said. "I am flabbergasted." I would've liked to have been a little I-told-you-so about it, but I was too discombobulated to muster the smiling raise of my eyebrows.
"I have never, ever, in all my years seen a child sit there like that," she said. She was no spring chicken, either. "Most adults aren't that good."
I nodded. I fall into that category myself. It was probably better that I hadn't held The Boss in my lap as that needle went in. She would've sensed my fear. She would've known that this was, perhaps, a situation to be wary of. Instead she saw me right there in front of her, a squirming boy in my arms, and knew I trusted her to be where she was. The Boss has always done well by my faith.
I guess that means I've done well by her.