The past couple of weeks have been stressful. My oldest daughter came down with croup and I had to take time off from work. My youngest daughter has had a cold and I expect her to come down with croup any second. Our whole family has been unhappy and disappointed with our run of bad luck…and wait, it actually gets worse.

This week my daughter developed a rash on her face and arms and our pediatrician thinks that it might be fifths disease. In the past month we have missed a swimming lesson, soccer, a family event, a library event, and school. Why can’t we break out of this cycle? These past few weeks I have felt stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, and downright sorry for myself.

Then something happened to snap me out of my cycle of self pity. I turned on my computer, checked the New York Times, read this article, cried, and vowed to never let a common childhood illness like croup, fifths disease, a cold, a fever, anything curable for that matter, ruin another day with either of my children. It is very difficult when you are in the moment, dealing with runny noses, fevers, and ear infections, to not get sucked into an angry and frustrated place. When this has happened to me in the past I often find myself asking, “Why does this keep happening to me?” “Can we please catch a break?” However, after reading this beautifully written and inspirational piece, I was served up just what I needed, a good dose of perspective.

I now realize how lucky I am to have children who are able to fight common childhood illnesses. I am thankful that the worst I have ever had to deal with is a high fever with double ear infections. Bring on the common childhood problems; I will trade them any day for what this mother, child, and family has had to endure.

Please take the time to read this article, it is tragic, it is sad, it is beautiful and it is inspirational.

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