I know now why fish tanks are in pediatric doctor’s offices and children’s hospitals. I used to think they were there for decoration or simply to fill up space with something large and colorful. I also made the incorrect assumption that they were there for the children. I’m here to tell you these colorful aquariums are for the parents. Because for two or three glorious minutes, the exhausted, emotional and anxious mama or dada is able to watch their sick child be happy about something. These blissful moments let the parents take themselves out of the reality for a moment. No coaxing medicine down the throat. No coughing fits. No 2am fever checks. No anxiety around how to juggle work meetings the next day when day care simply isn’t an option.
In this picture specifically, I watched as Lucy excitedly kept an eye out for the large black and yellow angel fish to come back around the tank. She was convinced “he” was her newest friend. Chris and I meanwhile kept an eye out for the nurse to call Lucy in for chest x-rays. They would tell us later that the scans came back negative. The day before, she tested negative for the flu. And yet her high fever persists (4th day) … as does our anxiety. Maybe we should consider an aquarium for our house.