Earlier today, someone online mentioned this phrase – the unpredictable predictability of having a fragile child – and it really struck a chord, as it sums up life with a chronically ill child so well.
Life with kids will always be unpredictable – the chaos that goes with them is seldom tame! But when you have a sick child, there is a whole extra layer of worry and stress, and, in truth, resignation, that (at what is ALWAYS the worst time – e.g. us about to leave for a plane from London to Singapore!) they’ll get sick.
In truth I think that’s partly how we cope: if you’re always prepared it’s never a real shock. It’s a self-protective strategy that’s really necessary, as when things do kick off, they tend to be very urgent, and you need your entire focus to be able to juggle all the necessary balls, with no room for an emotional reaction.
Sometimes I wonder if that unpredictable predictability swings the other day too. Having been through the mill, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve basked in happiness at just doing something utterly predictable and ‘normal’ – we’ve all gone to a cafe, and every child ate, and wasn’t sick; we went on a weekend away, and there was no infection/high temperature/A&E visit needed.
While having a fragile child has more additional challenges than I can summarize here, I do think it doesn’t only bring stresses, but also an ability to really appreciate the everyday and the mundane (e.g. mundane at home = at least we’re not in hospital!), and every time that child laughs in happiness – totally lost in a positive moment – the sound, and the relief you feel that they can still laugh like that despite everything they’re dealing with, is enough to crush your heart.
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