Our Story Begins:
They Worry About YOU, Too!
I had something happen this week that hasn’t happened since I was 10-years-old.
I had an asthma attack.
It’s an interesting phenomena, this kind of thing. When I was a little kid asthma was a little-known and little-understood malady and I was one of the only people I knew who had it. I used to have major attacks that felt like an elephant standing on my chest with the inability to fill my lungs up all the way.
This kind of thing, though, arms you with some weapons for the future. For one, you get to know your body, inside and out, very well. When I would get either pneumonia or bronchitis or any other chest infection I knew. I knew the moment my lungs were attacked by whatever bug was inside. So on my way to work Tuesday, with my head starting to swim and my lungs gasping to fill…I knew something was wrong.
I spent an hour in an urgent care who sent me to the emergency room . . . which took another 5-6 hours. I spent a whole day waiting for poking, prodding, testing, and the like.
All during this my kids were texting me. My sons asked how I was, what was going on, what was happening. My middle daughter asked if I needed anything or what was going on in the hospital and why it was taking so long. They also wanted constant updates.
I know why.
In 2011, their mom had a hard time breathing and went to the emergency room, too. She never came home again.
I didn’t hide the seriousness of things from my kids, I honestly thought their mother was getting better . . . until she wasn’t. But as a result of that, of course I know they’re worried. How could they not be?
It is here that I realized that, as I’ve said before, kids are smarter than we give them credit. My kids know I’m not feeling well and they worry . . . maybe more than most kids do. Don’t kid yourself, though, mom and dad, your kids know when you’re not feeling well. Those times when the kids were more active or hyper when you weren’t feeling good? When they bugged you incessantly when you were run down? They weren’t being mean . . . they want to make sure you’re the person they know, the invincible, immortal person they perceive most other days. My kids, unfortunately, saw behind the curtain and learned too quickly that mom and dad fell off Mount Olympus and lost their immortality.
That doesn’t mean they don’t worry when you don’t have the strength and vigor they remember.
I learned that it’s best to tell them the truth.
“Kids . . . dad feels like s**t today. Sorry.”
And you know what? Sometimes that’s all they need.
What about you? Do you realize it when your kids worry about you?