Amid Red Upper Lips and High Fevers


Photo of Hannah Young


By Charm Moreto Damon


The weekend begins with red upper lips,

For five straight minutes, her nose bleeds,

As my husband and I try to stop the bleeding and console her,

Our daughter, confused and frightened by the red fluid trickling down her soft upper lip.

Oh, how these moments break my heart.


We conclude what happened is from a broken blood vessel from nose picking,

And continue with our plan for the day,

With chicken for lunch and sample treats at the store,

The two kids especially enjoy our weekend errands.

Oh, how these moments make me smile.


Then to the car wash we go before heading home,

When it was whimpering for the boy and girl before,

It was now excitement to see Spongebob and Dora,

With squeals and giggles as we pass the tunnel to wave at Taz and Clifford.

Oh, how these moments warm my heart.


But on I-75 on the car ride home,

I turn around to see yet again red little fingers,

With the car stopped roadside and cars whizzing by for five minutes,

I succeed to halt another nosebleed, another frazzled crying babe.

Oh, how I want to switch places with her.


So, to the ER we go to resolve our doubts now,

But after a long process of waiting, chasing around a still active toddler,

And watching Yo Gabba Gabba in the waiting area,

It is indeed concluded to be just a broken blood vessel inside her nose.

Oh, how this news relieves my heart.


Fifteen hours later, it is my son’s turn,

What allergies he and his sister share,

Has now turned into low then high fevers,

With a trip and tests for both at the doctor’s, thankfully they just have a cold,

Oh, but his fevers, I wish they’d go away.


What is typically a playful and boisterous boy,

Is now irritable, whiny, and snotty,

Just watching television, blowing his nose every other minute,

Not even a single attempt to tease his sister dear.

Oh, the very few times I wish he actually would.


Tonight, after dinner,

While I cuddle my son, chatting with him,

My daughter comes with her toy stainless pot complete with a lid,

And as if to offer it whole-heartedly, she says in her sweetest voice, “Zoup Dale.”

Oh, how everything in this moment completes today and everyday.


Finally, what a blessing just red upper lips and high fevers are,

And to realize that things could be worse, but are thankfully not,

How humbling it is to be reminded of the gift of good health that we often take for granted,

And to cherish our loved ones on healthy and “red upper lips and high fever” days.



P.S. Yes, amid red upper lips and high fevers, I am grateful for the general calm I had in my heart and mind this past weekend and today.  I am grateful that the Universe injected modest but meaningful moments with my family that I will forever cherish despite several unpleasant “first-times.” What modest but meaningful moments did you share with loved ones today? Yesterday?



Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor.  She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students.  She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work.   She writes regularly. She may be contacted at