I think that one of my least favorite times as a parent, and ironically one of my favorite times as a parent, are those times when Noah gets sick.
Obviously it ranks among my least favorite for a lot of reasons. What parent wants their child to suffer? It’s heartbreaking to see him become lethargic and lose all energy. I suffer alongside him, knowing that his little brain can’t quite comprehend what sickness even is. I get frustrated as he gets frustrated with it. If he’s throwing up (which has only happened a couple times), I wince as he’s doing it and then I melt when he looks at me with his big wet eyes as if to ask what the heck is going on with his little body.
I worry, too. I think all parents worry when their children get sick, especially when they start running high fevers or when they can’t hold their food down. What if it’s the start of something much worse? What if it’s too much for his little body to handle? What if these are surface symptoms? Was it something I did? Is he sick somehow because of my negligence?
I’m somewhat thankful that his Mom is even more paranoid than I am when Noah gets the yuckies. I find myself constantly questioning whether or not I should call the doctor’s office. She just does it. Then we all feel better.
Most of the times that he’s come down ill, it’s been minor and normal. I remember one time, though, when his mom called me panicked, saying Noah had just had a seizure and that they were being rushed in to an exam room.
I turned a ten minute drive into a four minute drive and somehow arrived there without any speeding tickets. He had gone from a regular temperature to 104 in a matter of minutes which had caused him to go into a feveral seizure. It took him almost an hour to completely stop seizing and become coherent again.
The doctor kept assuring us it was totally normal at his age, and was really nothing to worry about. I just wanted to start crying as I watched my helpless little boy slip in and out of unconsciousness. I just held my limp, shaking son against my chest, praying for it to pass as soon as possible.
I don’t think I’ve ever hated a moment in my life as much as that moment. I can only imagine what his mom must have been feeling having watched his eyes roll into the back of his head while he started shaking violently.
And, as horrible as it is any time my child is sick, and as morbid as this may sound, it’s also one of my favorite times as a parent.
You see, when Noah is sick, he doesn’t want to do anything but snuggle and be held. It gives me a chance to bond with him in ways that are hard to do when he’s well. It gives me a chance to feel true compassion and empathy for my child, and it reminds me of just how human and fragile he really is.
Sometimes I feel like a child getting sick is a true blessing for his parents. At least it always has been for me.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
What do you experience when your child is sick? Are you the ultimate worrier or the laid-back let-it-passer? What is the scariest moment you’ve had with your child?