“Babe, don’t freak out.”

This was not a good way to start a conversation with an anxious person.

“Seriously, just listen.”

My husband tried to reassure me ahead of time, as though his words could act as a soothing balm to whatever painful or irritating information he was about to impart.

“Did you notice the lumps on the back of Little Legs’ head?”

“What are you talking about?”

I stood at the sink without turning and scrubbed harder at the burned macaroni and cheese.

“The mosquito bites?” I asked over my shoulder.

“No, they are on the back of his head, on his occipital lobe.”

Occipital lobe? Who talks like that, I thought.

He had Little Legs in tow and led him over to me.

“Show Mommy your truck,” he nudged the boy in my direction and whispered, “Go ahead, feel the back of his head.”

Turning off the water, I sighed in acceptance of the interruption and dried my hands on a damp dishtowel. I had one more pan to wash and I would be done with the kitchen for the night.

“Come here, buster.”  

He shuffled over to me in his one-piece footy pajamas holding a monster truck out for my inspection.

I knelt down and ran my hands over his fuzzy hair, still wet and smelling of Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby shampoo. I let my fingers explore his scalp, skeptical that anything missed my watchful eye. Then I found what my husband already discovered, two symmetrically placed lumps on either side of the back of my son’s head.

Little Legs jerked away from my loving hands as I pushed in on the aberrations on his perfect head.  

“Does it hurt when I push there?”

“Hurt,” he mimicked.

I asked again and received the same answer, surprising no one.  


“We have to call the doctor.”

We both looked at the clock on the wall, the office was obviously closed.

“I told you not to freak out.”  


5 thoughts on “Lymph Nodes

  1. I can remember when my oldest son was 12 months old. Around that time they give the measles shot. Zach developed spots and I thought oh wow he has measles and I didn’t have a change to do the shot. Then I realized his occipital lymph nodes were swollen and maybe the spots didn’t look exactly like measles. So of course he had contracted chicken pox at his daycare. Occipital nodes swell when you get the chicken pox. He had spots everywhere too even his ears and the bottoms of his feet. Middle child, David, also got chicken pox at 12 months. Youngest, Eddie, has never gotten chicken pox and it is worse I understand when you get it as an adult. Oh well!!

    Don’t know if your Little Legs has chicken pox or anything but I hope that he’s A OK. Maybe his body is just exercising his immune system reacting to something normal and the nodes will just go down on their own. Any spots??

    Let us know what the doc says!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How interesting- he does have spots. We just thought they were mosquito bites. The doc said his body was fighting an infection and doing exactly what it was supposed to do but he didn’t really look at the spots. He just felt the swollen lymph nodes. I will keep a close eye to see if any more pop up. Thanks for your comment and heads up about the spots!


  2. I know you guys have been pretty isolated due to Covid-19 any neighborhood kids have the chicken pox…next door neighbors or anything? My mother actually got the chicken pox from our neighbors kids, and my siblings and I caught it from our Mom back in the day. I was 11 or 12 I guess and had a mild case.

    Yeah his body is doing its job absolutely whether chicken pox or another thing!! Not to worry. Chicken pox was how I learned what occipital lymph nodes were. LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s good!! The body responding and developing immunities is part of growing up and being healthy! Nice that we parents have these little visible cues to monitor things though!! 🙂 I have at lease one story of taking my middle child to the emergency room worried something serious was amiss only to have the techs laugh and send me off without even billing me…that bad. LOL! And, in general I was the most relaxed of parents regarding injuries, medical mishaps and sicknesses.

        Liked by 1 person

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