Holidays: The Unwanted Gift
December 3, 2009 (WPVI) -- It's that wonderful time of year where families get together and everyone gets in the spirit of giving. But there are some things families share with each other that can put a big damper on the joyous season.
No I'm not talking about reindeer ties or fruitcakes. This "gift" isn't bought, or made or even something "the giver" enjoys handing out. Any guesses as to what I'm referring to? I'll give you a hint. It lasts about 24 hours, it keeps you up all night, it requires a lot of sanitizing and makes a new mom extremely nervous. I'm talking about the stomach flu.
This past holiday weekend we visited my side of the family up in New York. A few minutes after we arrived, my cousin and my nephew had to leave. They had both started to feel ill. We all chalked it up to something they ate, although in the back of everyone's mind it was obvious everyone was nervous. There were two little one's under a year old and one more not much older than that. But that didn't stop everyone from hugging and kissing, sharing food and holding babies.
Luckily, we got through Thanksgiving weekend just fine. We had a wonderful time, visiting family we wish we could see more. Sunday night of course was a long ride back... but Monday was even longer. Both my husband and my daughter were sick. Needless to say, all three of us were up all night. I called my mother the next day and found out she was sick and so were my sister and brother-in-law. Yikes! Is this what we had to look forward to as we visit even more friends and family over the next month?
Watching your infant go through something you can't explain to her is not only frustrating, it hurts. And it's certainly not how you want to spend those "first" holidays. So what do you do? Limit the amount of friends and family you visit during the season? Believe me, there are times when you want to close off your home, and hide away until springtime when you can schedule all your gatherings at a local park (with lots of hand sanitizer of course). My very wise colleague and desk neighbor Amy Buckman, reminded me that every time Sienna gets sick, I need to repeat this: "She's building her immunity, she's building her immunity".
So as the Christmas parties begin, we will continue to visit friends and families and greet everyone with hugs and handshakes... I would love to be able to escape the season illness free but not family free. That wouldn't be much of a holiday at all.
parenting - erin o'hearn, parenting, erin o'hearn
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