Monday, September 17, 2012

Strep Throat And Paying Attention

My daughter was sick with strep throat last week. I thought she seemed a little overly tired and ill, but it didn't cross my mind that she was sick. Even when we were leaving for cheer, and she told me she felt dizzy, I dismissed it as her being hungry. She didn't say anything else to make me think she might be sick.

But a few minutes into the ballgame, I noticed she wasn't cheering with enthusiasm. Soon, she was no longer jumping, and she looked pale. I was quite certain she might be sick on the field. I went to her a couple of times, asking if she was okay. I eventually had to ask specific questions: Does your stomach hurt? Does your head hurt? She admitted that they did. After a little coaxing, she agreed to go home. Upon arriving at home, I took her temperature...a telling 101-degree fever.

Like my daughter, people don't often say when something is wrong. We might notice that our friends aren't acting quite right, but we dismiss their behavior. Even if they hint that something is wrong, we're usually so busy we dismiss any comments. It's usually when things go terribly wrong that we pay attention enough to realize something was amiss all along.

I want to be the friend {and the mother} who pays attention enough to know when something is wrong with the people in my life. I need to remember to ask them specific questions. While I may be able to do nothing more than offer a listening ear, fix a meal, or hold a sick child's hand, I want them to know they are important to me.

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