When big disappointments come early

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Places To Go

This past weekend was supposed to be spent amongst the Redwoods with Jared's classmates on an easy camping trip. Jared and Sara both were looking forward to it, as I was. After some initial troubles, we had a campsite and my stove, lanterns, and poker set were set out in the kitchen. We even picked up a spiffy camp kitchen table for the outing. The tent was on top of the rover and, as always, the full set of tableware, kitchen utensils, and cookware was in the rover ready to go.

Then, last Thursday, Sara started complaining that her ear hurt. A little Tylenol seemed to provide relief, but we made an appointment with the doctor anyway. We figured, even if it was an ear infection, a little antibiotics and she'd be ready to go. That night, Jared woke up in the middle of the night with a high fever and "wiggly legs". It's a good thing we were going to the doctor the next morning.

By the time we got to the doctor's office (and got a parking place right smack in front, no less!), Sara didn't seem to need the appointment and Jared totally did. We went in and Jared lay down in the waiting room and went to sleep. When it came time to go into a room, he did the same. Sara, on the other hand, was her active, energetic self.

The doctor came in, took a look at Sara's ear, and announced that she was in a lot of pain. Sure enough, she had an ear infection. Next, she turned to Jared. She took a swab to test for strep throat -- negative -- and decided he had a flu or virus or something. The bad news was that he wasn't going camping.

So far, he's been too out of it to think of the camping trip he's missed, but I haven't. Of course, we'll go camping at some point in the near future -- the very near future -- but it won't be the same. Not only was this a trip with his friends from school, but the first such trip. So even if we plan another outing with his schoolmates, it will be Jared's first and their second. He'll never experience the sense of shared discovery that the kid had this weekend.

I don't mind when the kids miss things occasionally; they missed their acrobatics and swim classes, but that's no big deal -- they weren't significant events. This camping trip was indeed significant -- a missed experience that they'll never be able to recover. Sure, they won't turn out significantly worse for having missed this and any benefit from it would be miniscule, in the grand scheme of things, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.