What makes us parents?

Filed under: by: sknaB nolA

The post below is from a lady I have never met. Her son is at St. Jude's and fighting cancer. Her family is from San Diego and I was passed on a prayer request for her son Cole.
Don't let the title make you stop reading if you don't have kids. It's for everyone.


Today was a good day (a much needed good day). Yesterday Cole felt bad all day and was sick the majority of the day and we had to start more medicine, which is never good when you are battling a two year old. Cole is still bright yellow and his eyes glow, but we have had him hooked up to IV fluids which seemed to help his energy level. He was able to eat again today and even gained some weight back.

Now that we have been here for awhile we are meeting more parents. As I mentioned, St. JudeÂ’s is a prominent cancer research facility and all the families stay nearby. It is such a blessing to have access to the accommodations and hospitality but sometimes it is difficult to be around parents who are also struggling with cancer every day. Conversations with parents have led me to reassess our family. What once was a battle on the playground over whose kid was the strongest and biggest has now turned to which child is the sickest and whose has the worse story. Another family was petitioning to move to a bigger suite because they only had one TV in their room and were tired of watching cartoons all day. I guess those conversations and thoughts lead me to wonder what makes us parents.

Some parents give strength to their children both physically and emotionally. Some parents teach independence and pride. Some parents make time to spend with their children and realize that those sacrifices offer the greatest gift—a relationship. Where are those moments found? It is at the school plays, on the baseball field and at the dinner table. It is helping with homework, running to the playground, and consistently disciplining. I have thought that I made sacrifices to uphold my role as a mother, but I am finding that those sacrifices are nothing in comparison to what we are going through now.

Looking around the hospital, you see the kids that feel bad, and then you see the kids who are happy despite feeling bad. You can tell instantly which children have the joy deep in their hearts. THAT is what we give as parents. It is not the newest video game for them to play alone but rather the glove to match the baseball. And through the kids here, I am learning that the emotional leads to the physical, so maybe we as parents should start there first. Maybe we should judge our kids not by weight but by the size of their smiles or strength of their laughs. The parents here who are most depressed and unhappy are also those who dwell on the fact that their children are sick, and so their children seem even more sick. The problems are not going to be wished away, and complaining about them only clouds the air with negativity. That negativity becomes just another problem to deal with.

Although I know every scene in "Cars"” and the daily schedule on the Noggin channel, I still devote myself to sit on the bed with Cole and sing the familiar songs whenever he chooses. It is that emotional bond that we are trying to maintain as a family—it is that bond that makes us a family. I am finding that despite all the blessings we are given, too many people miss the silver lining because they are expecting the gold.

Just a thought. Wendy