No matter how hard you might try to prepare yourself, becoming a parent is always daunting. There's so much to learn, and each time you feel like maybe you're figuring it out, a brand new curveball comes along to throw you off your game. Yet, as Little People, Big World star Jeremy Roloff explained in his latest Instagram post, those unexpected moments can turn out to be really valuable life lessons. Jeremy Roloff's infant daughter spiked a fever on vacation in Hawaii recently, and though it thankfully turned out to just be a harmless virus, the new dad shared that the experience gave him the opportunity to understand "what it feels like when your child comes down with something," and how, as a parent, you can't help but "want to trade places with them" so that they don't have to suffer.
Roloff and his wife, Audrey, took their 7-month-old daughter, Ember, to Maui for their first beach vacation as a family of three, and judging by the photos the couple shared on social media, it was a pretty special trip. For one, it marked the first time little Ember had had the opportunity to play in the sand and dip her feet into the ocean — something Audrey said the litlle girl "loved," according to In Touch Weekly. But it was also a pretty full-circle moment for the family as well: Jeremy noted that the last time he and his wife visited Maui, Audrey had actually been pregnant with their daughter.
Unfortunately though, the trip wasn't just about picture-perfect Instagram moments. Before they left for Hawaii, Audrey asked her followers for tips for their upcoming flight, and wrote that Ember was just getting over an ear infection. And though the little girl seemed to be happy and healthy for most of the trip, Jeremy shared that, toward the end of their time away, Ember ended up coming down with "a random fever," that "escalated high enough to take her in and get checked out."
Jeremy and Audrey took their daughter to what they described as "the nicest clinic," and they left with advice to simply keep her hydrated until the illness passed. But even though all was well, the experience definitely left an impact on Jeremy, who had to experience the same helpless moment that all new parents endure at one point or another, when their children are ill and there's nothing they can really do to help.
For Jeremy, who also often discusses his strong Christian faith on social media — he and Audrey run a blog called Beating 50 Percent, which promotes faith-based, covenant marriages — seeing Ember get a high fever for the first time was also an important religious lesson. In his Instagram post, he wrote, his desire to trade places with Ember "[made him] thank Jesus, because that’s exactly what he did. Trades places with us — only death is far more eternal than a fever."
Although it might seem a little bit intense to extrapolate Ember's non-life-threatening fever with the desire to sacrifice your own life for someone else's, any parent who has ever felt scared and frustrated when their child was sick knows that, when it's your child, it doesn't really matter how serious the situation really is — it's always going to feel like the worst thing you've ever felt. And while, in time, many of us learn to take things like fevers and the seemingly-endless string of childhood colds and stuffy noses in stride, it does feel like a completely different scenario when your child is still just a tiny infant.
As Ember gets older, Jeremy and Audrey will probably start feeling much more confident when it comes to navigating her illnesses (any parent of a school-age kid can attest that there are so many more viruses to come in Ember's future), but dealing with your first on-vacation fever definitely feels like a significant parenting rite of passage. And though it's not really one anyone actually looks forward to experiencing, it sounds like it gave Jeremy a whole new appreciation for fatherhood.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.