Major Life Challenges Blog Series

We are taking a closer look at some of the big issues we all can face in our lifetime. Each topic will be featured as a blog series.

What My Sick Child Taught Me

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What My Sick Child Taught MeMy son Aiden was 10-months-old and walking. A lot. All over the place. And fast. Well, as fast as a former wobbly 10-month-old who just has to touch everything could go.

I was back at work so he was enrolled in daycare, and by the end of his first week there, his teachers had nicknamed him, "Mr. Busy," a name that would follow him through the Toddler Class, 2's Program, and 3's Program. He was a little rambunctious firecracker. (He still is.)  

One day while I was at work trying to make it through the day, my phone rang. When I saw the daycare's number pop up on my cell phone screen, I sighed deeply. Just the week before, I received a call from the daycare because Aiden was sick and needed to go home. I hope he's not sick again, I thought to myself. I didn't want to be known as "that lady" who always neededto leave work early because of an emergency.  

When I answered the phone, I got the news. The scary news. Aiden had fallen while playing around in the blocks area and there was a deep cut above his right eye. Ouch. It looked like he would need stitches. 

I fumbled to gather my things together, headed to my supervisor's office to tell her that I needed to leave immediately, and made my way across NYC to Aiden's daycare, all while my heart was racing. And all while my mind was racing too. As I prayed and hoped for the best, I cursed myself for even being slightly annoyed at the sight of the daycare's phone number on my screen.

It mattered not what my co-workers or colleagues or supervisor thought of me if Aiden was not okay. Period. 

That's when I knew that although my career is important to me and means a lot to me, the most important role is taking care of Aiden, which is equal parts stressful and rewarding. (The rewards make the stresses so worth it, though.) 

I ended up taking Aiden to the hospital where he received his first (and hopefully his last) three stitches. The doctors asked me to hold him down while they were stitching him up, and to say that is was heartbreaking and painful and one of the most difficult things that I ever had to do is an understatement. If I could have taken his pain away and taken his place by getting the stitches for him, I would have... in a New York minute.  

But I got through it. Because I knew that's what my son needed from me.  

And I'd do it again and again... in a New York minute.  

I learned that as parents, when our children are sick, nothing else matters but their health, wellbeing, and knowing that they are loved by us. Because, when it's all said and done, that's all that really matters anyhow.

 

Alicia HarperAlicia Harper

Alicia Harper, M.A., Ed.M. is a single mother, blogger, and recent graduate of Columbia University turned Mental Health Therapist. Her life is filled with all things pink, except for the one bit of blue - her rambunctious 4-year-old son. Together they make a great pair, and Alicia chronicles the trials and triumphs of being a young, single mother living in NYC at Mommy Delicious.

 

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