Last week’s episode of Usagi Drop followed Daikichi as he cared for a sick Rin, with help from Kouki’s mom. As a parent, I can say this – the episode did a bang up job of conveying a parent’s feeling of helplessness and the dependence a small child has on her parent or guardian (perhaps the influence of scriptwriter Taku Kishimoto, who is a parent).
This post is a bit off-topic for this blog, but I felt the need to write it anyway. As the episode progressed, images of my son came into my head over and over again.
When he was about two years old, he took a scary fall backwards. He fell on the back of his head. At first, I thought little of it after he calmed down, but late in the evening, he threw up all over our floor. It was such a sad moment – I can remember it so well. He looked down at the mess in horror with stained hands covering him gaping mouth. Having never vomited since he was a baby, my son must’ve been terrified at the experience.
As Daichiki cared for Rin throughout the night, so did I with my son. Taking advice from a nurse, I woke him frequently to check for signs of a concussion. Early the next morning, I took him in to see a doctor at the local children’s hospital.
As I took him there, I felt just like Daikichi did. I was very nervous, worried for my son and frustrated that there wasn’t more I could do for him. And I felt really bad for my little tyke. Every parent must think this, but trust me when I say this – my boy is abnormally sweet. While I see all of his classmates take toys, make up lies, and bully others, my son is loving, warm, and giving. He’s much like Rin. I hate seeing him in pain – it just feels so unjust.
At the doctor’s office, another parallel occurred. As with Rin, it wasn’t the worst case scenario – my son did not have a concussion. And as with Rin, he was diagnosed with a stomach virus. It was simple coincidence that this virus accompanied my son’s fall.
Slowly but surely, we eased him back to taking in sustenance. As with Rin, we gave him ice and sports drinks (plus some apple juice). Eventually, he ate that old Asian sick food fallback, rice gruel (or as we call it, mool-bap). And yes, it’s actually quite yummy.
A day or two later, my son was back to his normal, energetic self. But I was never the same – I learned to love more deeply during that experience and I learned to value my boy more. And for all of you out there who aren’t yet parents, I hope you remember this – in the end, that first major sickness for your future son or daughter will trouble you in the short term, but out of it will grow an even deeper bond with your child that you wouldn’t have imagined. Your ferocity as a parent and your child’s utter need will be on full display, and you’ll learn even more so what it means to be a father or mother.
It will be the most horrible, lovely sickness of your life.