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Simply put, parenting requires flexibility

Well, this was not quite the day that I had hoped for, but that is part of being a parent sometimes.  Today is our 15th wedding anniversary, and my wife and I were planning to go out for an evening of dinner, drinks, and dancing (or at least dinner and something else).  We had the sitter lined up to stay with the kids. 

Unfortunately, it did not work out that way. 

You see, shortly after ringing in the new year a couple of nights ago (around 12:30am as I recall), our sweet toddler Abby got pretty sick with a stomach virus, and we were up much of the night with her.  Actually, my wife was up more than I was.  I thought it would be better if I got more rest so that I could take the next night's "shift" if necessary. 

As it turns out, that was a wise move, since Brandon (our nine year old) got the virus very early this morning.  He was mercifully kind about not waking us up in the dark, pre-dawn hours to help him.  Instead, he went back to bed after his rude awakening, but he didn't go back to sleep until he crashed on the couch this afternoon.  The absolutely priceless part of our morning conversation was this:

After telling us what had happened this morning, Brandon very seriously asked, "So, aren't you going to give me a cold cup of water and permission to watch TV all day?"  My response was, "Yes, yes, I am."  I thought that his behavior showed a maturity beyond his years, and I was willing to reward that.  Plus, what else could you really ask a kid to do when he is really sick to his stomach? 

I let my wife rest for a few more hours and I took care of the kids, two of whom were quite sick.  Overall, it was a nice change to relax and enjoy some cartoons with my boy.

At any rate, we will choose a different night sometime soon and celebrate our anniversary then.  In the meantime, we are praying (sincerely) that no one else in the house gets this virus.  The baby still seems to have it almost 48 hours later, so it seems pretty rough. 

As a parent, you really have to be willing to roll with the punches.  The kids are far more important than going out on a specific night.  That being said, we will have our time together soon.  I would like to publicly thank Elaine Hanson for writing an exceptionally kind email to me this evening with her "congrats" and a great message about this very subject.  Thank you, Elaine.  You are a class act and a solid friend.

I hope that you all have a healthy, safe and happy week.

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