You want to know the hardest time (in my admittedly limited experience) to be a dad? When the whole fam damily is sick. You’ve got a sick baby, you’ve got a sick wife, you’ve got a sick cat… And just when you thought you’d be able to avoid it all, your throat gets that scratchy feeling that will inevitably lead to death.

This was my poor little soldier this last weekend

This whole weekend, our little group has had a fever, chills, and sore throats. Just to keep things interesting, my son has also had a minor eye infection, because there was a pointed lack of mucus in my life. Now, as mentioned above, I came into this sickness a little bit after the rest of our family. There’s a story connected with this, and if it doesn’t make me seem the most intelligent of human beings, then perhaps at least it gives me a few “good dad” credits.

A few days ago, my son and wife both woke up under the weather, with ample evidence that it would only get worse. I, on the other hand, felt great. I was getting ready to go to the gym while my wife was lying like a dead thing on the floor of our hallway. We hear the ritual morning wails that let us know our little minion is up and at em. My wife grabs him from bed, hands him his bottle, and promptly resumes her spot of honor in the middle of our carpet.

My poor wife while sick…

Our son looks at his obviously sick mommy, and he is obviously sick himself. He’s miserable. He’s got goop in his eye to the point where he can hardly open them. He’s got the wet, guttural cough going on. He looks and feels feverish. And he just wants comfort…

Seeing his mom momentarily out of commission, he turns to me and gives just the most pitiful whimper you’ve ever heard in your life. He begins to walk towards me with arms upraised. Now, it’s decision time…

I have a long week at work ahead of me and I’m the only one not sick. Somebody needs to keep the household together while it sweeps through our home. We need to do our grocery shopping, clean the house, work for a paycheck, and at this point I was the only one available to do so. That, and in the back of my mind, I knew that if we were to all be sick, I would be the one who would fight through it to get these things done anyway. Mind you, it would be done 100% willingly, but in that moment the prospect of going through it all sounded far from pleasant to me!

But then I looked at my little guy again. His eyes were swimming with tears, and he was absolutely miserable. All he wanted in the whole wide world was to be picked up, snuggled, held, loved. I thought about what it meant to be a father, my responsibility to protect and give constant support. I remember my own father telling me that to be a father is to be unmovable. Virtually unshakeable. Was I going to let a fever get in the way of that?

As he continued to move towards me, tears running down his face, I began to move toward him. I dropped down on the ground, and he collapsed into my lap. His little arms tightened around my neck, and I could hear a sigh of relief as, for just a quick moment, daddy was able to make it all go away. We held each other like that for a long few seconds. Then he released his arms, leaned back, and gave a hacking cough right into my mouth.

All I could do was laugh.

Actual footage of me getting up this morning

Today, I am achy, I have chills, my throat hurts, and I pretty much want to throw myself into the sweet release of death. But hey… My kid knows that I love him forever and always. And that’s most important!

Sick Babies