I think there is one thing all parents can agree on: sick kids are no fun.
Especially when your kid is throwing up.
Eleven times in 24 hours.
And he is only 14 months.
And you decide that the best day to drive to another state is the same day your kid gets sick.
And he throws up three times in the car.
So you take your baby to the Urgent Care and they send you to the Emergency Room so he can get an IV. And then you get to spend the next 24+ hours at the hospital with your sick and very sad little child who has to get wired up to no less than 1,000 machines and stabbed no fewer than 200 trillion times for all the testing and IV-ing.
But seriously, isn’t that the cutest little patient you ever saw? In a tiny little hospital gown with tigers on it?
I have a new appreciation for parents with very sick children. Parents like my friend Andrew whose premature baby has been basically living in the hospital since he was born a year ago. Parents like my sister whose daughter just got a kidney transplant. Parents of kids with cancer. Parents of handicapped children. And of course all the other parents with very sick children who need constant care, whether or not they are in a hospital.
The heartache you feel for your children, having to see them suffer so much; the worry you feel that your child might not improve or get worse; the exhaustion from all the constant monitoring and testing; the stress from being away from other family members, other children who need you too. (Oh yes, and the hospital food doesn’t help.)
I think the outlook for my own baby is good, although I have no idea how long we’ll be here. But I want you to appreciate your healthy children today–give them extra love and hugs and apples (to keep them healthy) and go have fun with them!
For all you Americans–Happy Independence Day!