I’ve been in Mommy High Alert Mode for nearly 24 hours. My son has been sick. Nothing seems to wake me from my comfortable routine more than when my son experiences fevers nearing 104. That sense that parents have of protecting their children seems to go into overdrive when our children get sick. We hate seeing our children in pain and would take their place if we could. Normal inconveniences, like not getting a good night’s sleep, do not seem important when our children need us.
Last night, my son called out to me from his room and I quickly went down stairs to tend to him. After returning to bed, I started thinking about the sickest I’ve ever been. I was in college and living about 80 miles from home. I came down with a horrible case of strep throat. The campus health center prescribed antibiotics and told me I would start feeling better in a few days. Three days later, I could barely swallow due to the increased swelling in my throat, I could not eat or drink and one of my ears was throbbing. I kept waiting for the antibiotic to kick in and it never did. One night, I can recall being curled up in a fetal position at the foot of my bed and rocking back and forth, groaning in pain.
I called my dad the next morning and could barely get any words out. I just sobbed. I needed help. My mom had passed away two years prior to this, leaving my dad to be both mom and dad. Growing up, my mom had always been my comforter. When I was sick, she was the one I ran to. I had never depended on my dad to fill this role before. Instead, he was our provider. He made sure we had food on the table and a roof over our head. This was his way of loving us and I am so grateful for that.
That same morning, my dad drove up to my college and took me to the emergency room. The doctor discovered I was extremely dehydrated. They hooked me up to an IV of fluids to quickly rehydrate me. They examined my throat and told me that whatever drug the campus health center had prescribed was not touching the strep infection. Really? You think?
I was prescribed a more powerful antibiotic and told that if the swelling in my throat and ear did not subside within two days then they would have to operate. My dad took me back home and I climbed into the bed that I spent my childhood sleeping in and now only used when I came home from college for quick visits.
My dad became my nurse for three days. He brought breakfast, lunch and dinner to my bedside. He even brought healthy shakes to drink and vitamins to take. I was 20 years old and seeing a side of my father I had never seen before. I was seeing my father in Daddy High Alert Mode.
Last night, after kissing my son’s warm forehead again and tucking him in, I started thinking about our Heavenly Father. He is always in High Alert Mode for us…his children. He doesn’t, for one moment, become complacent or distracted in his love and care for us. He hates it when we hurt and, as the Great Physician, knows exactly what we all need to feel better again.
I feel like I catch a deeper understanding of His love for us whenever my son gets sick. My Heavenly Father would do anything for me. He already has.