Dealing with Disappointment as a Parent

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I really had high hopes for Valentine’s Day this year. It’s the first time I remember ever being excited at all about it, really. I had big plans to take David and Libbie to Atlanta to visit Kayla with Tiffany. Then I had planned and shopped for a delicious meal of Shrimp Scampi Bake with broccoli and Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Lasagna for dessert. Libbie LOVES shrimp and strawberries, so I thought she would be thrilled with this menu. On top of that, she had her class Valentine’s party scheduled for school Thursday.

The snow was the first factor in what became a very disappointing day. Libbie’s preschool (and Mr. V’s school and the public schools …) were canceled all this week except Monday, despite the fact that there was not a flake of snow that we could see on Tuesday. So my girl missed out on a week of what I’m sure would be fun, heart-shaped activities, culminating in a sugar-laden class party.

Then sickness hit. Joshua spent Thursday miserable, sobbing with red eyes, green stuff pouring out of his nose. The school nurse practitioner diagnosed him Thursday night with infections in both ears. Libbie complained for days of a sore throat and had a slight cough. She spent all of Valentine’s Day laying on the couch, watching these Valentine’s TV episodes and being pathetic. Her temperature was over 101 tonight, and she went to bed at 6:30.

Still, before I knew the extent of Libbie’s sickness, I was sure it would be a great day. I got up early to print off that Valentine’s banner and coloring sheets for the kids. I made Libbie’s request of heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (to which I got a “finally!” when I handed her the plate). (She was reprimanded, of course, and then barely ate anything.) I made the dinner and we all sat at the table. Except Joshua cried, David said he doesn’t like that, and Libbie’s didn’t eat a bite and complained of her legs aching.

Finally, we took Libbie’s temperature and put her straight to bed. We cuddled the baby and tried to get him to drink water. David put every sticker from a new booklet of Hot Wheels ones from his Aunt Ashley on the backs of the sticker pages and the covers. And I am not exaggerating when I say I had a very hard time holding it together as I stared into space and listened to The Beatles.

There’s nothing I could have done to prevent snow or sickness. But hearing my daughter cry, “This is the worst Valentine’s Day ever!” broke my mama heart. I reassured her she would still have her school party Tuesday.

For my own sake, though, I’m trying to gather up the few redeemable things about the day and hold them in my hands. Libbie and David loved their gifts of books – Libbie got Tallulah’s Solo and Tallulah’s Nutcracker and was THRILLED that they were not library books and she could keep them; David got Mo Willems’ I Broke My Trunk, because it’s a silly book, and he is all about the silly lately. (I am still waiting to get Tallulah’s Tutu and Go Away, Big Green Monster!) They also loved the package in the mail from Nana and Popi.

Mr. V and I bought each other a new game to play on the iPad for Valentine’s, and we played it several times and enjoyed each other’s company tonight. He was happy because he spent time with each of the kids today.

I enjoyed running to Wal-Mart with my sister, talking about her fiance and upcoming marriage and our Valentine’s menus. It’s a blessing to have her so close here!! And she gave Joshua a bath to try to quell his fever while I made dessert for her and her fiance for tonight.

I was and am still disappointed on how today panned out. But grasping on to the good is a gift from God. As is the fact that His mercies are new every morning. We can celebrate love any day of the week.


3 thoughts on “Dealing with Disappointment as a Parent

  1. 🙁 Sounds like a not-so-fun day! I’m sorry you missed out on the chocolate lasagna! Maybe another time for a special dessert. Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

  2. We’re in Chattanooga, too, but since we homeschool, my poor kids had to do school all week long. 🙂 They managed to survive. I’m sorry about your Valentine’s Day disappointment, but you have a great perspective on it. 🙂

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