A Tummy Ache
For some time now, my daughter has had a tummy ache yet she rarely complains about it. Apparently it’s not much but it always seems to be there. Once in a while if I ask her how she is doing, she’ll say, “Fine. My tummy aches but that’s normal.” Of course, that is not normal. We took her to her doctor a while back; he checked her out and prescribed some antacids. He did not think that there was anything serious for us to worry about. Unfortunately, the antacids didn’t work. Apparently this problem is not uncommon for young girls. Some doctors seem to think that this is just a side effect of youthful angst.
If we hadn’t kept after her, she would never have told us how she felt. This made staying on top of this problem easy to forget. One of the many reasons we came home was to try to finally put this issue to rest. This past week we visited an allergist. No doctor suggested this; I just thought that we should rule out any possibilities such as a mild food allergy.
Well, it turns out that she tested positive for a mild allergy to several foods. The worst one was caffeine. Cola and processed sugars also showed a slight reaction. So Coca-Cola is off the menu from now on. Hopefully we will be able to confirm this as the source of her discomfort through a diet adjustment.
I talked with my daughter about all of this last night. I told her that it is OK to say ouch when she hurts. In fact, it is necessary to do so if she is unable to do anything about what hurts her. I also told her that her own happiness and love for herself should be her first priority. Only when she stands up for herself and makes herself a top priority can she be truly happy. Only then can she relax and truly love others. She doesn’t want to bother us with stuff like this or maybe she is afraid that it might be her fault somehow. I was determined to set her straight. Sometimes I fear that I will come off preachy in these talks but in the end she was all smiles and cuddles.
Today we also met with an attorney to revise our estate plan. The big issue is, of course, who gets our kids should we both die. Although we made a choice, I concluded that neither my wife nor I are allowed to die. At least not until the kids are able to take care of themselves. We just have too much to teach them yet. I know that they need us; now more than ever.
I hope to prepare my kids for life by making sure that they know how to cook, clean, do laundry, and make decent money before they hit eighteen. I want them to have the self-pride to know that they have the right to be who they are; to stand their ground when necessary and the responsibility to respect others’ right to do the same. In fact, I hope that they have achieved much more than this by adulthood. That is up to them. I just want them to be happy and at peace with themselves.
We are about finished with our work here. A few more calls into the RV service center to speed up their work and we will get back on the road. It’s been a good visit home. It has been productive but I think it’s time to wander again.

Author's Bio: 

Hugh DeBurgh, The Passionate Warrior, has dedicated his life to the achievement of the ultimate family lifestyle. You can find him writing about Creative Family Lifestyle Design over at his blog, The Way of the Passionate Warrior. Currently he is on the second leg of a worldwide travel adventure with his wife and four young children. His blog is at http://thepassionatewarrior.com.