For what has seemed like an eternity, (okay, maybe it’s been about a week), we’ve been swamped with the sick around here.
As it often does, it all started with a family wide round of good old-fashioned snot. It then progressed to a tummy bug in the little one before waging all out war in my big girl’s body. I’ve been watching with slow horror as my bouncy, robust almost four-year old wasted away to a gaunt ghost of a girl in a matter of days. Even I found myself shocked at how quickly the transformation occurred.
The last twenty-four hours at least, she is improving. Her recent rally seems to indicate that we have probably avoided a trip to the emergency room this time. Aren’t we always thankful for that?
Having a houseful of “blech” is tough though, I’ll admit. The laundry piles up even more endlessly than usual and simultaneous sickies can tear a mama’s heart to shreds. I found myself holding back hair, holding onto buckets, with the little one at my knee, arms outstretched pleading “Mommy, hold you!” (Oh, how I do love that she still mixes up those personal pronouns).
But somewhere in the midst of the mess, there are actually blessings to be found. Always with the lessons to be learned, right?
Here I go:
1. I am reminded that there is virtually nothing in my schedule that is non-negotiable. I was amazed that as busy as we usually keep, filling our days with fun activities, Bible studies, and friends, when the babies are sick, nothing matters more than their health. Priorities become very clear.
2.When we are homebound, I am delightfully reminded how much we like our little space in this world. We have a lovely, comfy, safe home that we can enjoy as much, if not more, than any other place to which we might dart about: doing, spending, experiencing. There are seemingly endless activities, books, and tasks that we can use to entertain ourselves right inside these four walls.
3. Even the grocery store trip planned earlier in the week was not really necessary! I’m reminded to be thankful for the relatively well-stocked pantry that enables me to putter around the kitchen trying to get creative in feeding myself and the little crew. I’m not going to lie; it was mostly broth and crackers, but still, there were endless options.
4. I am reminded to be thankful for modern medicine. Although I try to approach illness with a mostly natural approach, I find comfort in knowing that we are privileged to raise our girls in a country that rarely experiences fatalities due to dehydration or treatable illnesses. My heart aches to think of mothers in many parts of the world watching their babes waste away with inadequate nutrition or oral rehydration therapies. I feel blessed to know that, if need be, my children are mere minutes from life saving medical treatments.
5. Finally, I am blessed by all the holding. My generally snuggly girls become even more enamored with being held when they don’t feel well. I am reminded to cherish this holding. To listen to them breathe. To simply sit with them. While we read a book, sing, pray, or even watch t.v. together. I am blessed to tend to these normally busy little people with achy bodies in need of soothing, hair that begs stroking, and backs that want rubbing. And it heals us all.
So you see, I definitely won’t miss the sick when it leaves our house, but I hope I don’t soon forget the reminders that it brings.
Update: thanks for all the great pumpkin patch recommendations! Sadly, we will probably have to wait until next year:(
But there are so many good options, we might just have to squeeze in two trips. Here’s to October 2012!