Sick kids

Sick Day

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3am on a Wednesday. Daughter is crying and sick.

3:01am. Daughter is still crying and sick. I realize my wife isn’t home so lying in bed to allow her compassionate side to cave and take care of the baby isn’t going to work.

Claire is cranky, but not the usual I-wanna-watch-Dora-now sort of way. Claire is sick. Possibly the worst kind of cranky. I put my hand on her forehead and she is very hot. I get her water and take her temperature and sure enough she has a fever. Tylenol comes out and she goes back down.

7am. I am woken up by a loud yell—“Papi! I awake!!!!”

I am tired and have my right nostril completely clogged. It’s pretty gross. As I begin to move I notice that my body hurts. I’m not really sure why. My head also hurts. The kind of hurt you get from drinking too much. I didn’t drink though. Seriously.

I go to my daughter’s room and she still has a fever. I get her up and give her more Tylenol. Thank God for Tylenol. Claire wants to cuddle on the couch, which is another sign that she is sick. Claire doesn’t normally want to cuddle; instead she wants to run at 50 mph yelling at the top of her lungs. Luckily cuddling is less loud and something I can do.

I take coffee, orange juice, a waffle and the remote to the couch. Claire and I watch Dora’s less annoying cousin, Diego. Apparently he is allowed to have his own show…Claire’s Tylenol has kicked in and she watches two episodes without making a sound. Thank you Tylenol! I attempt to do my morning prayer but begin to fall asleep and my once clogged nostril has decided to let go off its content on my iPad. As gross and as OCD as I am, I leave the snot and nap.

About 20 minutes later I wake up to Claire wanting more juice. I guess this is a good time to clean the iPad. Claire gets more juice and we cuddle some more and read her books. There is this sick-person to sick-person understanding that we are not going to be too needy and this will be a very chill day. Books are read and then, we go and draw some pictures.

1:15pm. Claire has gone down for her nap. All is quiet and I am really contemplating taking a nap myself. Why am I still typing?

4pm. Claire wakes up and is feeling much better. We play and eat and eventually we go to her room at 8:30pm. More cuddling occurs followed by stories.

9pm. Claire is in bed and I am walking out of her room. “Papi.” Yes, Claire? “I love you.” I pause and respond, “I love you too baby. See you tomorrow.”

Today was a good day.

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Categories: christianity, dads, fatherhood, fathers, fever, home and family, medicine, Sick kids, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Demands of Love

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My wife and I had made plans to drop our daughter off at grandmas so that we could have an entire Saturday of Valentines Day festivities. It had been a while since our work schedule’s had synced. We were super excited to go hiking in the mountains, have dinner not involving sippy-cups and bibs, and going to watch a movie. I cant tell you when was the last time I saw a movie on the big screen.

The Valentine’s Day get away was brought to a screeching halt a few days prior due to our daughters vomiting. Claire was not feeling well Thursday evening but it wasn’t until she puked that we realize it was more serious. Friday she had puked again, only in the morning but we knew we wouldn’t be able to drop her off at grandmas if she had some kind of stomach bug. All hopes of a potential romantic get away ended Saturday morning when Claire clearly hadn’t gotten better.

We spent most of Valentines Day comforting our little girl. Claire, who is usually running around as if she had drunk a six-pack of red bull was very calm and subdue. We actually had her cuddling on the couch with us, which is hard to do because she is so active. We spent time comforting her as we watched a few episodes of her favorite cartoon, Sofia the First. My wife did some homework since we weren’t going anywhere and I spent most of my time taking care of the little one.

Dinner was one of our typical recipes that we rotate through every few weeks. We had some wine and dessert from an earlier grocery store trip. We rented a Red box movie that my wife had wanted to see for the last year. It wasn’t the Valentines Day we had hoped for but in the end it worked out.

As parents we find our plans interrupted constantly by our children. It can be frustrating, especially when you’ve been planning something for a few weeks. Yet, the demands of love require that we be capable and willing to be interrupted. As disappointing as it was to not be able to do any of the things we had planned, there was something deeply beautiful in spending time serving our sick daughter. By no means was it as glamorous as a romantic outing for the day, but it was what love demanded and what love demands is always worth while. I know I write about this concept often, but a willingness to surrender to ones desires is so necessary; especially in being a parent, especially as a man. At the end of the day Valentines Day is about spending time with those you love most. It is amazing how sickness can reveal our love for our family. The cleaning up of vomit, having your child in your arms for the entire day, or the simple pat on the back for comfort are gestures of love that say more than weeks of planning an outing, cooking the perfect dinner and buying a gift.

To love is to serve. To serve is to love. This is what love demands of us.

Categories: dying to self, fatherhood, husband and wife, Sick kids, Uncategorized, Valentines Day | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Daddy’s Lap

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Claire is on my lap. We are in an doctor’s waiting room. She cries and screams because she is in pain. I hold her on my lap soothing her, living with her pain. It hurts me more emotionally and spiritually than it does her physically, that I know for sure. I rub her legs and run my fingers through her curly hair. I hold her tight against my chest and whisper, “Daddy is here. It’s going to be okay.” Claire calms down and then moves away from me as if trying to deal with the pain on her own. She stops, cries, and runs back to me. I begin the comforting process again.

While Claire is on my lap I am able to soothe her. The pain is still present and will not go away. However, I am with her through the pain. Somehow this makes a difference.

Her father is present in a very real way and going through this pain with her.

This isn’t the first time you have encountered this story. This is your story. Our story. You have had pain: emotional, spiritual, and physical. You have hurt, been upset, maybe even cried. As I held Claire in that room I recognized very clearly that the pain we experience often doesn’t make sense, at least not right away and maybe never on this side of heaven. The pain is there but so is our Father. In my imperfect fatherhood I am able to recognize God’s Fatherhood. My fatherhood is an image of His. My love for Claire is powerful because it is based on His Fatherhood.

Maybe it is tough as a man to picture yourself as a child on the lap of God the Father. Think of the times you have held your child on your lap. You can’t take the pain away but you can live in the pain with them. Our Father does the same thing. He isn’t taking the pain away, but He will endure it with you. Most of the time you and I jump out of the Father’s lap and try to deal with the pain on our own terms. Instead of coming back to Him like my daughter did we run away and find other ways to cope with the pain. Some of these ways lead to more pain. I think God the Father is waiting for us to run back to Him so that he can rub our legs, run His fingers through our hair, hold us tight against His chest, and whisper, “Daddy is here. It’s going to be okay.”

May we have the humility, wisdom, and desire to let Him take care of us in the deepest of pains.

Categories: children, daughters, fatherhood, God, humility, Pain, Sick kids, Suffering | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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