published Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Grand Thoughts: Sick baby 'separation anxiety'

When my grandson, William, 17 months, came to live with us last September, I had some concern that my granddaughters, Tilleigh, 7, and Evie, 3, who live next door, would show signs of jealousy.

And though there has been a tiny bit, mostly when they all three want to sit on my lap at the same time, the girls have been nothing short of perfect with their little cousin. They are amazing, sweet, loving, adorable little girls. They love William as though he is their brother. I love that they’re going to grow up together.

But something happened last week that put a strain on us all. William contracted a contagious illness, and I had to keep him away from the girls. I didn’t want them getting sick, too.

It was hard.

While I took off work to care for William, my granddaughters (and daughter) were home, too, because of school closings due to the snow. I love snowy days, and I love to play outside with the girls. We have the best hills for sledding at my house, and it’s something we love to do together. I also love photographing them. Instead, William and I watched them play from the living room window.

Don’t misunderstand, I love taking care of my grandson even when he’s sick (although he’s been very active). But I was seriously missing my girls. I see them nearly every day.

Evie took time out from sledding and came to the window, looking at William and me with sad, big blue eyes.

“I want you, Mom,” Evie said through the window.

Oh, my heavenly goodness. Her words ripped out my heart. My baby girl wanted me. I longed to run out on the porch and grab her and kiss her until she made me stop. But I couldn’t. William had a bacterial infection ,and I could have harbored the germs on my clothing. I did not want to infect the girls.

So I cried.

Two days later, William’s medicine started kicking in and he, thankfully, began showing signs of healing. My isolation from the girls was ultimately short lived (five days), but still too long.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. “They” are right.

Contact Karen Nazor Hill at khill@timesfreepress.com or 4234-757-6396.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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