The world of parenting is filled with them. I like to call them, “precious inconveniences”.
Take this week, for example. My daughter started feeling sick on a Tuesday afternoon. I had lofty plans to clean up my house, bake lots of loaves of bread, workout (necessary because of the loafs of bread I would be making), and fit in some preschool with my daughter.
Her sick soon turned into a fever and chills. I had to leave work early (I nanny three days a week) to run her to the last appointment they had available that day. The people I work for had to scramble to make sure I could do this. I got there, frazzled. I held my daughter as she was shaking and frightened of her least favorite place in the whole world- the doctor office.
I sang her songs and read her books, holding her in my arms. She felt so small. I empathized with her when the doctor told her she needed to do a strep test. My little girl, as expressive as she is, said, “I don’t want that. I feel better. I am FINE!”. She was no dummy. But she was brave, did the strep test, and then vomited all over herself.
We left the office with no solid diagnosis, but I told my daughter we could run to get her some medicine, Popsicle’s, and warm pajamas. We changed her and went on our merry way. Only to have her vomit another six times in the car, all over herself, the car seat, and the back seat. I felt overwhelmed, but knew this was only the beginning.
A new pair of cozy pajamas and lots of medicine kept her feeling alright. I had made my phone calls and cleared my schedule for the next few days. Then came night #1. She tossed and turned until about 1 am, then fell asleep. I wondered why she kept saying her foot hurt. I carefully examined her foot, and sure enough, I saw a rash. I pored over the Internet to diagnose my daughter, and read all about hand, foot, and mouth disease. I looked at her little hands and mouth. Bingo. Poor girl caught it.
The next day I called the pediatrician office and they confirmed my suspicions. Night #2 was even worse. It was the worst night, in fact, of my life with her. As a baby she might give me an hour or two sleep straight. Nope. We pushed through an entire night with no more than five minute sleep intervals. She cried almost the whole night. Her feet blistered and her throat pained her. I wanted to cry or hit something. It was horrible. Why couldn’t I just be sick for her?!
So, here we are, on day #3. I am praying for a better night. I have my medicine supplies stocked.
This post was scheduled for over a week ago. I was going to talk about precious inconveniences as a parent, and look what life brought me? A real life inconvenience. I am late writing this post, as I have been doing one thing the past 72 hours or so: nursing my daughter back to health.
The thing is, these inconveniences make me so angry in the moment. When I take a step back, I see the beauty in the past 72 hours. I take our health for granted every day. There are families that fight terminal illnesses and this is their life.
I got to hold my daughter, uninterrupted, for almost a week. I looked her in the eyes more often than normal and told her how much I loved her and how very sorry I was that she was in pain. I reached out to family and friends for help and was blown away by their generosity and kindness. Little things, like a delivery of meds and a little gift for my daughter reminded me of the community God has blessed me with.
I have been able to spend my days in pajamas and watch Disney movies, bake my daughter homemade biscuits with honey and give her multiple baths a day.
This has been a precious inconvenience. I have been reminded of how much I love my daughter and my husband and how there is really little more of importance in this life than a few things. The people who have reached out to me have reminded me that community is so important, faith in God keeps me anchored in hope, and our home is not just a house but wherever my family is.