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So Ronan had his first fever. Normally this wouldn’t be scary but apparently under the age of two months, which Ronan thankfully had just marked, a fever means a two-day stay in the hospital for intravenous antibiotics. So because he was old enough we were able to stay home and monitor the situation.

Other parents had warned me that the first fever would be hard. I wasn’t too worried until I had a profound moment. Ronan was cranky and crying on and off through the day, and we were about to take his temperature again. His ability to grip and focus has really increased lately. Still, I was taken aback when I put him down on the changing table. He had a hold of my shirt and refused to let go. He began to wail even more, and was obviously ill, with tired eyes and less energy. Thankfully those were the only symptoms. I had to get a new diaper and I had to break his grip on my shirt. I tried as gently as possible but it still upset him to not hold onto me. I felt terrible. It was the first time that Ronan made a conscious effort to keep me near him. He really started to cry and it took both Terry and I to administer the rectal temperature check. (Yup! Now you know why he was upset.)

Once we got him checked and dressed, he fell asleep in my arms, a hot little oven broiling away in the summer heat. Thankfully his fever broke within twelve hours, peaking at 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the fever fell on a weekend the pediatrician says we don’t even have to come in on Monday unless his temperature spikes again.

For those of you who don’t have children or don’t work with them much, it may not seem like a big deal. But the first time my child reached out to me in distress was a very moving moment. I knew he wasn’t in any danger, but he was tired and sick and cranky, and he just wanted me to hold him, not plop him down on the less comfortable, cooler changing table.

I was very moved by this little boy asking me for help without having the words to do so. Call me crazy, but it was a very emotional moment for me. I’m really glad that it was nothing serious. Today we gave Ronan the anal temperature probe and he was all smiles. I doubt he even remembers the distress of the night before. I think I’ll remember it the rest of my life.


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Comments (2)

Jason, you captured nicely another (I think) universal element of parenthood. I have a few of these moments etched into my memory as well permanently. There's something about the fierceness of love for one's child, the pain that you feel if they are ill or injured, and the part of your soul that it reaches when they cry out for your comfort that cannot quite be grasped until one becomes a parent.


Whew! Glad all is well. No you're not crazy for feeling that way at all. After learning all I have about the importance of early child development this year you're lucky I didn't flip out...ANd I wasn't even there! =P

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