My seven-year-old daughter woke me up in the middle of the night dying of thirst last night. It wasn’t any surprise that when I checked on her this morning, she was feeling quite poorly. She proceeded to vomit bright yellow bile all over the couch shortly after waking. She continued to throw up all morning. I had great plans for today despite a poor night’s sleep. I was planning on doing my usual Friday morning walk and trip to the park, a mad dash to clean up the house thereafter, and a relaxing afternoon with my girls. My plans were swept right off the table as soon as I realized that my daughter was really sick this morning. She is sleeping right now while I wait for a precious delivery of seven up and Gatorade from my husband.
I am reminded of how often in my life, my plans have given way at a moment’s notice for the sake of my children. From the unexpected pregnancy of my oldest daughter to the two months of physician-ordered bedrest during my second pregnancy, I’ve had to change my plans to meet their needs—to put them first. We had a terrible health scare last summer when my youngest daughter suddenly had a lymph node in her neck swell up to over 6cm. We spent many tense weeks going from doctor to doctor, waiting for test results, and living in each moment with the possible threat of lymphoma hanging over our heads. I was ready at a moment’s notice to put my entire life on hold to do what I needed to do for her. It was then that I realized how much more important my children are to me than any other thing in this world. I knew that if something was really truly wrong with my daughter that I would quit my job and spend every moment that I could with her. Why wait until something catastrophic happens? I need to be there for every moment now even the moments when I’m holding my daughter’s hair so that she can vomit. These moments are precious. I’ll never get another chance.