Among the many things I didn’t anticipate today was seeing an x-ray of Eleanor’s chest. I can tell you this. She has bones that look like they are the correct number and size, in what seems like the right configuration. Her heart looks excessive in her tiny chest, her lungs half forgotten, ephemeral. Her back is straight, her ribs curve like a downward glance. Her chin is a sweet slip of bone.
Each of her pint-sized vertebrae sits stacked on its next largest sister. Her little belly is cushioned with a finger’s width of baby fat. Her teeth lie and show her eager grin, although the truth is she cried. Spiderwebs of light thread through her paper lungs; her ball-peen shoulders hitch upwards in her unease, her wishbone clavicle looks as slender as melting icicles already vanishing.
But she doesn’t have pneumonia.
Instead she has a much more mundane middle ear infection, which has caused enough trouble and worry, and will be routed out with antibiotics.