First, Do No Harm

I like to instill in Cayde ‘First do no harm’ as a matter of principle, whether it be Hippocratic or not, and he generally follows the rule save for when it comes to sundry pieces of furniture, or the unfortunate cat.
Finn was sick yesterday, which Finn announced with a 1:45 a.m. upheaval followed by near-hourly bulletins, as events warranted. Eleven a.m. and I had to cancel a visit with my grandmother, Finn being pale beyond his usual pallor and shaking his head ‘no’ to all offerings of juice, water, food, toys. He fell asleep on the rug midday and slept till late afternoon.
Glumly he sat in the highchair while I prepped dinner, not wanting to play or eat, and only occasionally opting for a few sips of juice and just part of a banana. Then Cayden exploded home and—opting to not find the neighborhood kids right away—pounced instead on Finn who immediately brightened.
Cayde set up a teepee in the living room for Finn and himself, a game of spy vs. spy afoot, and with the teepee as headquarters; Cayde doled out fedoras for the ruse, Cayde’s being sequined and Finn’s straw. They circuited the house until everyone involved was hot, and off came shirts and shoes, fedoras long discarded and there were contagious fits of laughter from behind Cayde’s closed bedroom door. Cayde bullied his way into the fridge proclaiming he was making dinner for Finn, which he did—grapes and cheese and turkey—and, just like that, Finn perked up.
It starts out ‘Do no harm’ (Epidemics, Book One, in the school of Hippocrates) and later there’s something about warmth outweighing the surgeon’s knife. And Cayden loves his brother like no one else, in which case there was not even a need for Tylenol, let alone anything resembling a lancet.
And to think I was making chicken soup.


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