February 28, 2011

Helpless

Things that make me feel completely helpless:
a sick child
...at 3am...
when I don't know what to do to make it better...
....and I'm staring at a pile of work (that I suddenly don't care about)

Yet another little jewel of parenting that I was not warned about.  Sick babies. 

Not only are sick kids "problematic" because they are little incubators of illness and inevitably spread it around the entire house, but acutally watching a teeny little person feel awful is the worst thing a parent can experience.  Even a small cold is heart wrenching.  A questionable illness (do I take him to the hospital?) is nerve-racking and terrifying.  An earth-shaking cough, like nails on a chalkboard. I find my eyes darting all over the room trying to figure out how to make it stop, how to help, how to make it better...only to realize that there's nothing I can do.  Nothing but steaming a freaking bathroom.

And nothing makes me feel stupider than having a sick child and trying to cure their illness with steam.

I am always humbled when one of my children is sick.  As I hold one of them (most recently - er, two hours ago - James) in a steaming bathroom, and his little chest is rattling from cough, and his little baby hands are shaking, I feel completely lost.  And I am in awe of him.  Nevermind the havoc he made on the house only eight hours before...he is now small, quiet and helpless.  With his little juice box and puppy dog eyes. Sometimes I forget that three years old is still so very young and impressionable and small.

I hate the sickness.  But I am thankful for the reminder of what really matters...

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