Have you ever heard the sound of a barking seal?
Neither had I until one afternoon when my 19 month old son was napping in his crib.
Actually, from what I heard through the baby monitor, it sounded more like a cat was attacking him in the crib. I dropped what I was doing and sprinted up the 15 steps that separated me and my baby.
To my surprise, the noise was emanating from my own son, not some wild animal.
I snatched him up from his nap and called my pediatrician’s office. As I frantically tried to explain the barking noise I’d just heard, he did it again.
“He’s got the croup,” the doctor said. “Get him to the ER right away.”
The croup? Was he serious?
The last and only time I’d heard of the croup was when I used to watch “Anne of Green Gables.” I thought the disease had been wiped out during the time period the movie was set in.
And if this ancient ailment was still around, why hadn’t I heard about it? Why didn’t any of my mom friends warn me about it? Why wasn’t it in the one baby book I actually read?
As soon as we arrived at the ER, we were ushered back to a hospital bed while I heard a “Code Blue” (or some equally scary color) called out over the intercom.
Before I knew it, two doctors and a multitude of nurses rushed to his side from every angle. While everything within me told me not to take this situation lightly, I couldn’t help but imagine what this must look like from my toddler’s eyes: the fluorescent lights, the scratchy sheets, the bleeps and blips of the monitors.
In less than an hour, he’d been whisked from the familiar and transported into uncharted territory. I remained the only normal element in a very abnormal experience.
In that moment, I kept my gaze fixed on him. Although I couldn’t control the situation, I could remind my son of what I new was true: God’s love for us, my love for him and that he was being cared for in that moment.
I knew from the instant those doctors looked into my baby boy’s brown eyes, they would do everything humanly possible to make him well, and they did.
We’ve had several more hospital visits with our kids over the years: Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, an exploratory endoscopy and uncontrollable projectile vomiting, to name a few. Although every situation was very different, one thing remained the same: my children taught me to see things through new eyes.
In the midst of pain, I found peace.
In the midst of hurt, I found healing.
In the midst of fear, I found faith.
Regardless of what your children may be going through, they will always look to you for how to respond. Instead of taking their pain upon yourself, why not try to reflect the goodness and hope found so easily within their hearts?
After all, when we see things through the eyes of a child, I believe we see things as they were truly intended to be.
Sami Cone is a blogger, TV & Radio personality who encourages families to live their best life on less and pursue their passions. She thrives in Nashville with her husband and two children (who are both healthy now). You can keep up with her frugal family adventures & travel deals on her blog, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.