Parental Sacrifice

As I watch the Olympics and hear the stories of the athletes, it is always remarkable how their sacrifice extends beyond just the athlete herself. The sister of a female gymnast commented on how the whole family had to struggle so that she could achieve her goal. It is always told in a way that makes it seem like it was all worth it.
As a parent, there is no end to the sacrifices you make for the sake of your children; be they big or small. This weekend, two of our friends from high school married each other in New Mexico. It promised to be an incredibly fun time with a big group of our friends. When I was pregnant with our older daughter, we missed another destination wedding and we’d always said we wished we had been there. I’m sure we will reflect similarly on this past weekend. We decided not to go after we set the date for our big girl’s surgery. It’s a good thing we didn’t go because she’s still not herself. Before she went under the knife, it felt like a sacrifice we had to make to be wise and watchful parents. Now, I’m grateful we’ve been here to see her through it. I would have felt awful if I had been getting reports of her headaches and fever while we were off galavanting around with our friends, unable to comfort and console her.
In preparing for my surgery, I keep discussing with my parents what everyone’s roles will be and how they can help. I feel guilty for asking so much of them already, but I’m trying to put myself in their shoes. It’s such a helpless feeling when your child is enduring a pain that you can’t alleviate for them. You just feel the need to busy yourself around them. I can see why fluffing pillows is an action people associate with a caretaker. The mother bird feathers a nest to keep her chicks comfortable and safe. It’s the same idea. So although I don’t want to impose and I don’t want my parents to make personal sacrifices to help me, I have to understand, too, that it is something they want to do. I have certainly wanted to do that for my kids.

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