I so don’t enjoy watching my children be sick. At the start of any illness I seem to kick in to doer mode. Like a tornado through the house attempting with all my efforts to make it better. For folks who know me in general my parenting style is a hands off follow my children’s natural lead sort of way. However when sickness arises in the house I turn in to some all knowing vitamin pushing drink this eat that military commander. I dose my children with information I think is true about healing and health. I hide immune boosters in their drinks and food and then sit near by and remind them every 30 seconds to eat up or take sip. I also start to clean fervently, every surface must be sanitized.
It was when my oldest son first said “mom leave me alone” and later when my youngest nailed in on the head, “mom can you just cuddle me,” that I started to pay attention in a different way.
When I stretch back in my memory I can see that from a very young age my oldest son has known what to do when ill. He puts himself to bed and he sleeps until he is better. He asks for close physical contact and lots of popsicles.
Learning to trust in my children’s abilities to know just what they require in any given moment and obtain it has been easier for me in some areas over others. The trick to it for me is truly seeing them outside of my stories and fears. And continuing to be the mom they need me to be in each given moment (as opposed to the mom that I think should take charge and eradicate the home and their bodies of foreign invaders).
There is a way I think that our world is set up to believe that the adults know all and the children know little. And many would go as far as to say our role as adults is to fill these empty vessels with information. However, many of my most humbling moments have arrived when I embrace the opportunity to learn from my children. Whether it be to unlearn something I thought to be truth or to see the world through their brand new fresh eyes I am often brought to me knees in deep gratitude.
This time around the lesson is just that in sickness and in the health my boys need the freedom to hear and respond to their own bodies. And that I get to stand by with offering loving arms to embrace each request.