What they don't tell you about Parenthood is that 99% of the time you will spend it in fear. You will live in fear and you will love in fear. It's an awful way to live but that's Parenthood for you.
The Kid was sick last week and, at first, I thought he had gotten what I had which was the flu. I had to go to the doctor's because I knew I was not going to be able to beat it on my own. Sure enough, The Kid developed a fever, puked and got a runny nose. A doctor's visit cleared him of strep throat as well as the flu so yay. He had the fever for the next few days until Saturday morning when he woke up with a normal temperature. Sunday morning is when he woke up with a rash on his belly and back. Our pediatrician indicated that it wasn't measles and it would go away on its own. What was it? Roseola. You would think that it would have calmed me down but in case you haven't figured this out by now, it didn't. It broke my heart into a billion little pieces watching The Kid smile at me as his belly was all blotchy. Fear. Fear, coupled with anxiety, has taken over my life. Last night, I drifted in and out of sleep as I thought about The Kid and the illness he was going to get as the years went on. I thought about how much anxiety it was going to give me and how I was going to keep cool hand Luking it all, as I have since his birth, while my insides caved into themselves and I screamed a billion screams while I watch my son, my beautiful son, cough and cough because he didn't know you have to cough it up and spit it out. Fear. Mind you, I'm not talking about making sure his new clothes were washed in Dreft and that his water only came from that endless spring in the mountains because I don't do that. Nah. The Kid wears new clothes that I didn't wash first, etc. I'm not trying to raise a child who only drinks Fiji Water. (Unless I had to.) My fear comes from the fact that I was a sick kid. I got the flu about every other month. My bout with chicken pox (where I was covered in it) overlapped with my bout with the measles. I was THAT kid. That kid who got a horrible cough because I went out at night without a jacket. About the few things giving me any kind of comfort are simple facts such as breastfeeding and thus passing on my immunities to The Kid. But, that is of little comfort because anything can happen. I'm hoping and praying that he inherited his dad's knack for avoiding illness since he escaped my flu-demic. Time will tell what side of the coin The Kid will land on.
Despite all the worry and fear consuming my life now, it's that 1% that makes it worth while. I could have an awful day at work and come home to a baby who is all smiles and laughter and my awful day is immediately forgotten. He's is a complete joy despite waking up at 3a today and deciding he just wanted to hang out. That was a first. At least he wasn't up screaming his head off or sick. It's the little things.
Welcome to Parenthood.