There is some bizarre correlation in my life with illness and holidays. As a kid, I can remember countless times I came down with a cold on a Friday afternoon – just in time for the weekend. Why not on a Monday morning or Tuesday so I could miss school for a few days? No such luck. If I had bronchitis, odds were it was spring break or the winter holiday. Even though I can’t remember when I had chicken pox, I’ll bet it was during the middle of summer vacation. I even had a broken arm the year we went to Disneyland, not that I let that stop me from having fun.
These days, odds are my illnesses track right along with whatever nastiness my kids bring home. It’s easy to blame it on school, which is no doubt where my daughter picks up most of her colds, but the boys are only two years old and not yet in any institutionalized education platform. I like to think they are reaping the benefits of early homeschooling. At any rate, on Christmas Eve or thereabouts, Bryson got a cold and by Christmas day he had shared it with Ryder. That’s brotherly love.
Somehow the ladies in the family have managed to dodge this cold, but I was not so fortunate. I’m merely old enough to know how to cope with the symptoms better than the average two-year-old.
Sitting on the sofa with a sick boy clinging to my chest, his head miraculously resting comfortably on my boney shoulder, I was struck by how sacrificial parenting can be. We give up our time, money, comfort, time, space, sanity, and more time as we try to nurture our little ones all the way into adulthood and beyond. It is a living sacrifice that we make for the next generation despite the risk that that generation may one day remind us that they didn’t ask to be born. Nevertheless, it is a risk I’m willing to take. Even if it does make me sick on Christmas.