Saturday, April 9, 2011

Perspectives on Parenting

Today I brought my 5 year old daughter to the hospital to see one of her friends.It was a hard visit. A short visit where most of it was spent in tears. We went to visit a little 4 year old epileptic girl who had a terrible 2 1/2 hour long seizure just over a week ago. She seizured for so long that they needed to induce her into a coma, then when they tried to bring her back out she kept having more seizures. She has now woken up but has suffered severe brain damage and we don't know what her future holds.

That's how fast it happens isn't it. One moment you are worrying about whether or not your child is chewing with their mouth open, whether or not you should put them in full or half day kindergarten, or agonize for months over whether or not to homeschool. One moment you panic because your child is not crawling or talking or walking as fast as the neighbors. And the next moment you enter the hospital and see an entire community of parents who know what real issues are.

In a moment your perspective changes and you hug your kids a little tighter and let them stay up a little longer and realize what a blessing it is to be able to say " I SAID you had to eat your cauliflower " and to say " stop fighting with your sister" . Because in every city in this country there is a hospital with parents who would give anything to be able to say that to their children.

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself - I think foolish things like why does my child have to have a metabolic disease, why do i have a child who struggles with stuttering and why don't I have family close by when I need a babysitter on short notice. And then I get a dose of perspective.

I debated whether or not I should bring my daughter. I wanted to support the mom who i'm also friends with, but finally I decided I would. It would give her a bit of perspective too. And maybe understand why I wouldn't feel sorry for her when she learned we don't have dessert for supper tonight. We talked a lot about what she would see before we were there- but it was still harder on both of us than I imagined it would be. Over the next few days as she processes it and we continue to talk we'll learn if it was a good idea or not.

Isn't that how all parenting goes- you do the best you can and then you realize too late if it was a good idea afterall.

I'm hurting for this family and wish I could do something- raise money or give them something that would make their life a little bit easier- but what? Any suggestions? How do you give them hope? what do you say? I simply don't know.

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