A Feeling of Helplessness

What began as an annoying, yet persistent cough ended in tears, vomitting, and cuddle sessions at 3:34 in the morning. Little Linnea had been diagnosed with pneumonia. Something common among children, at least once in their youth. To me, however, it was one of the scariest experiences as a parent to a toddler. When she was a newborn, at least I was prepared for that feeling of helplessness because, well, it came with the territory.

When she woke from her nap, her cries were definite. Out of a raspy voice, came her plea, “Mama”… Her tears were constant as she struggled with the discomfort, fever, and cough. Nothing I could do helped. Cuddle? Tears. Read? More tears. Eat something? Even more tears. Shall we go to the doctor? A wail so loud the house rattled.

I guess my lesson is that parents are meant to feel vulnerable too. That in our own vulnerability comes our empathy. She didn’t see my tears, but they were there. And they subsided with her own. With antibiotics and, (finally), a good night’s sleep, she seems to be on the mend. My worry and emotions are too.


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