The Hardest Moments

The hardest moments of the last ten years of my life have all (with the exception of my dad’s death) been when my something was wrong with my one of my kids.

The worst was when my daughter was in preschool she had terrible coughing fits. Off and on all day, after many round of antibiotics we had a chest x-ray. My nerves were shot and I was so on edge I couldn’t work for the two days between the x-rays and confirming it was asthma. I feel apart when I learned that she needed daily medication. Not that it was asthma, but that it could have been something else. Something much worse. Something that started with a C and ended with an ER.

The feelings came flooding back to me recently when my son’s breathing patterns were off intermittently. We gave it a few days, but instead of getting better, it got worse. And his belly hurt. My guy that never complains about anything. The one who bused his lip and only cared that his milk tasted funny. “Mommy, I’m tough.”

At the doctor’s office, he wasn’t tough. He asked me hold him and my chatterbox said nothing at all. It seemed almost routine to go for a chest x-ray. Then, when he was standing in front of the machine in his little hospital gown with his big eyes looking at me, I teared up. It could be something really serious. I started thinking of all the kids I knew who have serious health problems and squeezed his little hand until the technician told me to step back.

Waiting for the results in a private room at the radiologists office was the longest and hardest hour in a long time. They offered us blankets and water, and it made me more nervous. Then, as suddenly as the fear came over me, it went away. They told us the diagnosis and a few shots of antibiotics later my son is nearly recovered.

These moments are seldom in our lives. But they are not seldom for everyone. They make me thankful for our luck. Our health. Our family. And, that I am home with the kids, and don’t have to take off from work and the extra stress. Thankful I can focus on what matters most – my family.


Sarah is a working mom, graduate student – and most importantly – the mother of two young children. Her daughter is quickly transition into the tween years and her son is enjoying his last year of preschool before heading to kindergarten.

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