I recently had to take our two year old to the Emergency Room. She was having breathing difficulties due to a viral infection. I had many reflections from the experience and I’m guessing a few will trickle down as part of “Parenting Saturdays” (the unofficial name of this series :-)) in the coming weeks. But, one concept I was struck by was familial responsibility.
But, before I go there, a quick public service announcement. One of our biggest lessons from the incident was to waste no time when children have breathing difficulties. Children move from “normal” to unconscious with surprising speed. Our nurse explained that delays tend to have serious consequences. We were lucky we didn’t have to deal with that.
Now, back to notes on familial responsibility. As part of her breathing difficulties combined with the strong retching reflex that kids have, she projectile vomited her day’s food in 4 spurts. 3 of them were when I was carrying her.
But, as we didn’t have a change of clothes or time, I just went with it for the next 3 hours.
Somewhat disgusting details aside, this is no big deal of course. Most parents/people will go through a lot worse for their kids/family.
That precise thought gave me pause.
Isn’t it amazing how much we’re willing to compromise, sacrifice, and endure for someone we consider family?
Why doesn’t more of that extend to the many human beings we encounter over the course of our lives?
And, perhaps more importantly, what if it did?