The first day of preschool beckoned. A wondrous time for a young eager mind. The possibilities that awaited. Bated breath and butterflies abound. Then in the afternoon as a reward for the little guy was a flu shot. Tis the season and all that.
In the nurses’ office, a temperature spike of nearly 39. Lethargy and sickly pale skin. The small fella didn’t look so good either. No shot today. The temperature had to come down. Calpol. Every parent’s best pal in a bottle. That purple elixir of life. Children love its sweet stickiness, no fuss getting it down. 20 minutes later back at home a purple rain type of projectile vomit draped over the two aging parents. There were spaghetti bits in my wife’s lovely hair. Regurgitated pasta sauce on my neck. The smell of vomit/calpol combination was enough to start a vomit relay team, but we held our stead. Time to roll up the soggy sleeves and pay the piper. Damn it to hell, it was suppository time. The poor guy had passed out asleep and he didn’t even clench if you pardon the expression. Thirty minutes later and it worked, the temperature was dropping. He was still a demon on wheels, but the danger was currently averted.
A long night lay ahead. Tossing and turning he got us to rise at the unearthly hour of 3am for an early start. Now, I am an early riser, but anything before 5am I feel is not waking to a new day, it’s the same bloody one. Watching dinosaur cartoons on youtube is not my ideal way to greet the morning.
No matter what age you are as a parent, your child when ill is still as fraught with worry and a general concern no matter what stage you or your child is at. I don’t think your parental age ever changes in that while you are getting older your nurturing instinct brings down all the walls of middle age, old age and whatever age to leave you standing there at your most emotionally strongest to better allow you to tap into your basic primal need to secure your child’s welfare at whatever cost to your own immediate short term welfare. Albeit only a sleep-deprived night, so I won’t get too carried away with the dramatic description of heroics either.
Indeed, stress and our old friend anxiety can be easily displaced into some other cavernous part of the mind when the self is so utterly distracted that all things about ourselves have become so redundantly unimportant in that particular shard of time. Distraction may be key, but that surely is temporary and probably not ideal as self-awareness while obviously is a good thing can sometimes make us look into a part of ourselves that we mightn’t want to revisit.
Whatever that may be, one thing is for certain. If you can cherish the welfare of something other than yourself, then you will surely have grown in some way and ultimately move away further from the shackles of self-doubt and negativity that tie us down like a proverbial millstone around our necks. Selflessness is a great way of really looking after the self after all.