In a Time of COVID, Hug Your Kids, Because Some Parents Can’t

My girls’ father is a doctor and I have never been prouder of the work that he does. Even though our marriage did not go the distance, my respect and admiration for my ex always have. Especially now. Because in the midst of the COVID 2019 meltdown, he is showing what it means to sacrifice. To put others first. To live by an oath.

I saw this first-hand on Saturday when Steve came to visit. That’s usual for us. He’s in our home every week to spend time with our daughters. What is unusual is for him to make the hour-drive, get out of his car, and only come to stand 10-feet outside of our front door, like he did this past weekend.

doctor and nurse
When I asked him how he was he replied, “I’m preparing for war.” (Twenty20 @AZ.BLT)

At first, I thought that he was waiting for the girls to come outside. While he was standing there, I asked him how he was doing. He said, “I’m preparing for war.” By the look on his face, he wasn’t kidding.

Steve’s used to pressure. He’s been through 12-years of training,100-hour work weeks and 14- day stretches without a day off. He’s been so tired that he once fell asleep drinking a glass of orange juice while sitting up. I had never seen him like this before, though.

He was all business. Even with our daughters. There were plenty of smiles and laughs from a distance. But, no hugs. Not a single one. Who does that? I’ll tell you: someone who cares about the greater good and is willing to sacrifice for it. Someone who, in that moment, is willing to put the needs of patients, colleagues and our country’s healthcare system, before what he wants or what his kids need.

Doctors and other medical professionals are making huge sacrifices to help others

That’s who.

Steve’s gesture, or lack thereof, got to me in a way that no news story or special report ever could. Just by going to work every day, he could get sick. In fact, he expects that he likely will, which is exactly what he told me. If that happens, who knows what will happen.

This is the reality for every doctor, nurse and health care worker who shows up to take care of other people under ordinary circumstances, but now more than ever. The stress and the stakes are higher.

These people are doing their part which is why they are asking us to do ours. They are staying at work to save lives and they need us to help them by staying home.

Even though it may not feel like a luxury, I am trying to see it as one. That I get to be here, with our girls and to give them the hugs that their dad can’t.

Let’s please do all that we can to support our healthcare workers. Squeeze our loved ones a little extra. For them. For all of us.

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous.

More to Read:

This Mom From Italy Wants Americans to Know This About Covid-19 and Teens

A Letter to You, From the Daughters of an Immunocompromised Father

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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