The flu season has finally arrived in Rochester. Now obviously with winter in Minnesota we’ve been dealing with the “winter bugs” for several months now…but the official flu has made its way to town (at least this is what Gavin’s ped told me.) There were two ways I could take this, (1) freak out and keep Gavin inside in our little bubble or (2) deal with it and move on.
I choose option number two.
Sure, we wash our hands & sanitize. Sure, I’m a bit more cautious than the “typical” mom. But come on. He’s two. This kid has crazy amounts of energy, loves to touch everything, loves to learn new things and he loves to get out of the house. There is no way that I am going to bunker down in the house and hide from all the germs. And guess what, he’s going to get sick. And I’d much rather have him build up his immune system with the pink healthy lungs he has now, when he has the ability to fight off most of the bugs on his own.
I could look at life, afraid of him getting any kind of illness. Afraid that every single cold/flu is going to send him rushing to the hospital. I could be the mom standing next to him with hand wipes/hand sanitizer. I could be the mom dragging him immediately away from every kid that just might have the sniffles. But what kind of life is that? Living life in fear is not living life at all.
I could sit and complain about all my other friends going off about their child’s ear aches, colds, and stomach flus. I could complain to them that they are “lucky” to have that be their biggest worry. But what kind of a friend is that? Whether your child is dealing with a chronic illness or is a normal, typical child…no parent likes to see their child feeling sick, and everyone has the right to feel blue when their kid is down for the count. No one sickness trumps the other, the downs and ups of all my parenting friends are equally important.
I could sit and count the weeks that Gavin is or isn’t on an antibiotic. I could sit and cry about how many pills he has to take on a daily basis. I could be mad at the big man upstairs for bringing CF into our lives. But…what’s the point? This is our life. This is the deck of cards we’ve been handed. What would whining/complaining/bitching change? It would change nothing.
Instead we focus on the life we are blessed to live, even if it takes extra work to live it. We focus on what we can change. We can have an impact on the research/new drugs out there through fundraising. We can bring awareness to the world about CF and what it entails. We can feel blessed about the countless number of amazing people that would not have entered our lives if it weren’t for CF.
We don’t take the little things for granted. Every morning I feel blessed to be here (yes, even when I myself am sick). There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reminded how lucky and thankful I am to have my little family of three flourishing, and enjoying life.
So, no. We don’t hide inside all the time, afraid of germs. No, we don’t believe that Gavin’s obstacles in life are/will be any more important than the obstacles everyone else faces. Yes, we have made “peace” with this fact that Gavin has Cystic Fibrosis and that life goes on in spite of it. From day one we have raised Gavin to know that he is fully capable of fulfilling whatever hopes/dreams are floating around in his imagination.
We are living life, not hiding from it.