Just a quick check-in to let you know that my family is doing great, including Baby Jack. You might recall Jack was admitted to Children’s Hospital earlier this month.

Did I tell you what happened with Jack?

It turns out that his health problems were a result of having been sent home too soon from the NICU. He just needed more time. That’s it. TIME!

This experience made me think about one of the values I hold dearly when working with children:

Enduring reverence for children and childhood

This value is operationalized through an understanding of children’s whole-child development and recognizing that childhood should not be rushed.

I know the NICU medical team meant no harm to Jack, and this was an honest mistake. It seemed that all metrics pointed to his discharge from the NICU.

But what is striking to me is that the doctors did not consider the need for time as an option in dealing with Jack when he was admitted to the NICU the second time. The docs told my daughter and son-in-law that Jack likely had an infection and when that turned out to be negative, Jack’s medical team thought Jack had some rare underlying condition. Jack had to undergo several tests to try to uncover the issue. And, so it went. Test after test after test. They looked for thyroid issues, blood disorders, brain abnormalities, and on and on until they determined in the end that he just needed more time in the NICU. Sure enough, with the support from all the NICU resources, Jack began to regulate his temperature and gain weight. It was slow going, but it was going.

My cousin Tonya often says that time is a thief. I get what she means. It goes quickly and before you know it, you have grown children with their own children!! Truly, where does the time go?

It can be hard to be patient, and it’s natural to worry when our children are not growing or learning at the “right” pace. (Whatever that means!) I understand. We want what’s best for our children. The experience with Jack reminded me that time is worth looking into as a consideration for a child’s development. There is wisdom in knowing and acting on the fact that children have their own timetable.

Sometimes all we need is time.


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