Age Seven: My first migraine attack. I remember the day so clearly. I was in class and my head started throbbing all of a sudden. Everything around me went blank and I could only see yellow shapes in front of my eyes. A call was made to my parents and they rushed to pick me up immediately. Not expecting a young child to have migraine, they were hurt when the doctors revealed it to them. The pain was intolerable in itself to me, but the fact that my parents were so worried added to the pain. The house became glum all of a sudden. I was always an overactive naughty kid but due to these headaches I was constantly under medication and was asleep. All my friends in the neighborhood missed me and would come to visit often. I could see the sadness in my mother's eyes. But there was nothing that I could do about it.
Age Nine: Whooping cough. I don't know how it happened. I remember gorging on gooseberries during the winter vacations and before I knew it I was constantly coughing like there was no tomorrow. The cough was accompanied by phlegm and it drained me out completely. I couldn't sleep at nights due to the cough and hence it kept my parents awake too. They took me to all possible doctors in the city but nothing helped me. They were sleep deprived, but yet rushed to me with water and cough syrup every time I got a bout of cough. I missed my final exams due to this, but my teachers were cooperative enough and agreed to let me take my exams during the holidays. I was a good student and hence I cleared it. But my mother was seated right outside the exam center with medicines handy. The cough lasted for more than two months and my parents were drained out. They left no stone unturned to heal me, but for some reason nothing seemed to work.
Being the younger of two daughters I was always doted upon by my parents. But me falling sick meant silence in the house. The house always felt empty even though everyone was present. My parents were constantly worried about what is happening and prayed to all the Gods they could think off. Finally someone told us about a pediatrician in one remote corner of the city and my folks took me there. Thankfully the medications proved to be good and my health started improving. My cough subsided and I regained back my lost strength. I was already a thin child, but the sickness made me look like a stick insect. My mother went out of her way to help me put on weight. I was given the best of fruits and vegetables. There were juices with every meal followed by iron and calcium supplements. I was irritated with all this, but since it made my parents happy I took them anyway. My diet was soon filled with fruits, meat, vegetables, milk and two other important things. One was Chyawanprash and the other was a tonic that was supposed to make me feel hungry often. Surprisingly it worked.
They say that a child fills the house with happiness, I agree. I do not have children of my own but when I visit the homes of my friends I can feel the magic. There is noise at all times and the environment is very jovial. Their squeals, chatter and giggles fills the air with warmth and happiness. I like naughty children, there is something very adorable about them. They are hyperactive and thrill you with their antics. It might seem too much at times and get annoying, but when it is taken away you notice the difference. A happy child is the sign of a happy home. If a child is sick, the house moves to the black and white era and is depressing. A child has the capacity to draw color into every ones lives and homes. And for that a child needs to be healthy. With both parents working these days they hardly get anytime to spend with their children. But no compromise should be made on the health of the child. A tight hug, assurance of being there and a spoonful of Chyawanprash mixed with love come close to making up for it.
With so many children dying of poverty, the responsibility of taking care of our own doubles up. Its not games, fancy toys or gadgets that make a child happy. Or healthy. Knowing that their parents are always there for them is what they need. Take a leave when the child is sick, one day of not working is not going to stop the world from moving. Concentrate on the physical health of the child, but do not ignore the mental health. Most children these days hardly know their parents, as they are left under the care of a maid. Make up for the lost time and do not miss on watching your child grow up. Give importance to small things in their lives and live your childhood through them. Every child deserves a happy and healthy future.
Happy Children's Day!