Well, today was a slow day. My son has been fighting off some allergies (“Thanks, dad, for the suckie genes.”)
So, he has been a little on the slow side. By that, I mean, he’s not running back and forth for a half-hour straight. He is down to a pedestrian 20-minutes of full-on running back-and-forth.
So, for a sick day, not a bad one. It’s maybe a Category-2 hurricane for sickness. Nonetheless, it’s a tough day for us as parents. We see the child not looking like themselves: the tired, drawn, worn look in their eyes. And, those eyes–the expression: heartbreaking. Even on those “lite,” sick days, it hurts just the same.)
We know that most of the time it’s a temporary illness–maybe lasting a few days, a week at the most. During those times, our days are longer–with minutes seeming like hours, days like weeks, weeks like months. It seems a bit tougher when they’re still at an age when they can’t really talk yet (they can’t verbally say where it hurts, or how they are feeling). All they can do is whimper or cry or use a string of words that reinforce your impression that they just don’t feel well. More than anything, there’s that look in their eyes–it says: “please make it go away”…
Those are days that test you as a parent, that you earn your parenting stripes, whether you want to or not. There is no “pause” button, no waiting for you to be ready. This rite of passage waits for no one.
You want so badly to take the pain your child is feeling and make it your own. And, if wishing made it so, oh how fast we would be to take it. I think for every one of us, these are the times we grow the most as parents, as it teaches us so many things, not just about the child, but also about us as parents.
We learn what works and what doesn’t–whether it be a lower-back rub to help him sleep, holding him and slowly rocking him, singing softly to him (at least, singing the only songs you know all the words to) to calm him down, to watching his favorite 30-minute show on an endless loop–12-hours of mind-numbing Dino Dan.
It also shows us how patient you can really be. You’ill be amazed how well you do. What you get, coming out the other side of this, is well-worth what it took to get there. Quite honestly, though, I’d love to learn those things without my son going thru all the pain and discomfort.
Unfortunately–until they make the “I will take all my child’s pain button”–this is how we have to learn this lesson (in helping your sick child). So, I guess today is a “good” day. We are only at a Category-2 hurricane. And, sometimes, a slow sick day is a good sick day. Having your son sleep in your arms–yea it was a good day…
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