Fighting a Forest Fire with a Water Gun

Optimism is a gift of epic proportions.

Parenting during a global pandemic puts any true optimist to the test. I’m the mom of a cancer survivor. I don’t visit the dark side of cancer treatment very often mostly because it scares me – no, terrifies me. However, reading online how some parents are allowing their teens to go out and children to have play dates while a global pandemic plays out center stage has me willing to “go there” if maybe to provide a different perspective. Perhaps the reality will get to you.

At three my child was diagnosed with leukemia after a brief bout of pneumonia. It took three years and three months of treatment for him to be in remission. During that time, his immune system was at zero. We were told to avoid crowds, don’t be around sick people use hand sanitizer, and stay home as much as possible. Sound familiar?

The doctor gave us this analogy and maybe it will help you:

Going out in public with your child is like asking him to fight a forest fire with a water gun.

It was a sobering analogy for us. My husband and I would never dream of asking our child to face insurmountable danger just so we could go to church.

Your teenagers have solid immune systems. Great! However, this virus is new and human immunity hasn’t quite evolved yet for any expert to say the virus is safe for teens. I suppose that means you allowing your teen to go hang out with friends is like asking them to fight a house fire with a water hose. Sure, the odds are significantly better, but they still aren’t good.

Keep your kids home, so you don’t have to see your child like this.

Keep your kids home if you only increase their chance of not being in the hospital even by a half a percentage point. As the mom of a cancer survivor, I assure you there is nothing worse than sitting next to your child in the hospital powerless to do anything – not ease his pain, not stop the disease, and not take his place. If anyone told me I could’ve done something, anything to keep him from enduring the agony of his illness, no question I would’ve done it. Keep your kids home, keep them safe even if they hate you. Be optimistic enough to love them through it.

Author :: Elizabeth “Lisa” Borne


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