Growing up I’ve always been a pretty healthy person. I never got sick very often and when I did it was usually a cold that was gone in a couple of days. That was the case for me when I moved out of my parents house and when I got married as well.
I married a woman who doesn’t get sick that often either. When she does, she chooses to pretend she is not and move through life as though nothing is wrong. “Shhh! I’m sick but if I keep doing what I always do my body won’t realize it.” I don’t think it really works that way for her, but she is a tough cookie so she is able to fight through pretty well.
When we starting having kids we were amazed that for a while nothing changed with regard to being sick that often. Susanna had a bunch of colds, but she didn’t share and removing dairy from her diet helped her constantly runny nose. Then she turned two. Apparently that is like hitting the expiration date on packaged food because magically she started getting sick with stuff that can be transferred to us simply by sharing the same last name. Our family has now struggled with having bit of illness in our house at all times. Noses are always a little runny. Sinuses and ears are plugged at various times. Coughing is heard regularly.
Not that we are never in good health but the spaces of everyone being totally healthy are fairly small and very exciting to us now. It’s like a warm sunny day in Seattle. When it finally shows up we just want to put on shorts and run around outside the entire day because we know it might be the only day we have.
As I type this I am taking an antibiotic for a small sinus and ear infection that started from a cold I caught from my oldest petri dish……er……child. I’ve had this hanging around on me for about two weeks now and for a while it made it tough to work on some of my pre-field activities. After all what pastor wants to get a call from someone saying “I wud do speak at your chuch subtime. Cad we set that ub? I’b a missionary to Sbain. SNORT!!”
I’m finally back to feeling like I can accomplish things again and I’m also getting used to the fact that the early years of parenthood is something akin to living in the ward for infectious diseases. While our kids must be taught to share their toys and belongings with each other and friends they will readily share colds, flu’s, and the occasional bout of Bubonic Plague.
So as I prepare to be healthy again soon I also know that most likely in the next month or so I will be in line to catch a bout of Dengue Fever or Ebola from one of my kids because I just can’t keep from hugging, kissing, and generally being with my kids.
I’m sure there are other parents out there who can relate to this situation and for them I offer this ending quote.
“It is no longer a question of staying healthy. It’s a question of finding a sickness you like.” -Jackie Mason
God bless all of the pre-field parents out there and their kids. We pray that God uses you all in a big way.