To All Parents, During Cold and Flu Season

The world slept hard as a sick child lay on my chest as I rocked miles. As I gave baths at three a.m. because the fever that I thought had left crept back up while I was passed out in their glider rocker.

This is overtime for parents. Overtime that can last for weeks solid at a time.

And that’s not to mention what it’s like when we are sick while our children are healthy, and running miles around us while we melt and die on the sofa.

If I think back to my childhood, some of my most important memories were from when I was sick. I vividly remember my mother chasing my around the coffee table or trying to hide medicine in my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She was just trying to get an antibiotic or some Dimetapp in me. Now, I want to slap four year old me hard. I was such an ingrate.

I remember my dad holding my hair when I was holding on for dear life to the beige toilet in my bathroom, throwing up my guts.

I realize that hey, my parents really DID love me. I mean, like, really REALLY love me. Enough to get near my vomit. Enough to let me sleep in their bed when my body was a furnace, and I’m sure I kicked the crap out of their sides all night and then woke them up early because I needed gingerale and cartoons.

Parents are sort of magical that way.

I wouldn’t clean up the Queen of England’s puke. But I’ll do it for my children.

So, in this season, parents, where play dates at Chick Fil A can result in a cold and fever three days later. Where you want to dump hand sanitizer all over your child, cancel every play date until April and fumigate your home because you can’t take one more day, one more germ. In yet another hectic season for you where something seemingly small becomes something insurmountable, you just have to remember one simple truth.

What you do matters.

The hands that care are the hands that say ‘I love you. Even enough to let you puke in my hair.’

In the early hours of the morning. At the doctors office on a Tuesday. At the side of their bed, or when rocking them to sleep.

It all matters.



This article originally appeared at This Heart.

Ashley LeCompte
Ashley LeCompte
Ashley LeCompte is a Jesus follower, the wife to a Marine vet and a sometimes disorganized but usually joyful mother to three kids. Save for a brief sojourn in San Diego, she has spent her life in the cornfields of rural Maryland. Her pet peeves include chronically high grocery bills, everything children do with toothpaste, and people at Starbucks who take too long to order. She's armed with a sense of humor, her minivan and a cup of coffee. In her free time, she enjoys photography, reading novels and eating chocolate frosting straight out of the container. Ashley blogs at This Heart.

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