Parenting, most everyone would agree, has its share of challenges. For me, the toughest parts of raising a four-year-old and a toddler aren’t the sleepless nights or the tantrums. Those are a piece of cake compared to helplessly watching my children battle through their illnesses.
At the start of the summer vacation, just two weeks ago, my four-year-old son, my toddler and I enthusiastically left the house at 8:30 a.m. each day. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves by frequenting the gym, the library, the park and the mall.
I thought it was the perfect way to spend the summer break before we embarked on our six-week-long vacation to India.
But things went downhill fast. My daughter developed a fever, and as it happens with most siblings, my son caught it, too. While my baby girl recovered in three days, my son’s viral infection became progressively worse.
His fever spiked every couple of hours, and he couldn’t keep his medications down. Seven days later, there still seemed to be no relief in sight. As I thrust my son into the shower, yet again, in a desperate bid to lower his temperature, I couldn’t stop the tears from welling in my eyes.
Although I always hoped to be a pillar of strength for my children, I found myself failing miserably.
A little later, as I held my little boy on my lap and sung him his favorite lullaby, it dawned on me that there were parents and children who faced far worse.
Suddenly, I was grateful that we were only dealing with an obstinate virus infection.
My newfound optimism and gratitude carried me through our middle-of-the-night E.R. visit, and I actually managed to cheer up my brave boy through all the poking and the prodding at the hospital.
Yesterday, I only gave my little boy his medication thrice, and he actually managed to regain part of his appetite. He is on his way to recovery, as are my husband and I.