It's been a long, germ-filled week for us. What started with a runny nose for Bennett turned into a full fledged, family plague. All members were hit, some more severely than others, and we have used every last Kleenex in the house, all the children's Tylenol and desperately need to air out the space and sanitize everything. Anyone want to come over for a playdate? I kid. I kid.
For the first couple of days it was simply the kids who had fallen victim to this awful monster cold, but eventually their loving caretakers found themselves down for the count as well.
Sometimes being the grown up is so hard. Especially when the grown up is sick herself but still in charge of the health and wellness of others. Thursday was my worst day, I thought death was on my doorstep and could barely move myself off the couch to pour a bowl of cereal (which was the breakfast, lunch and dinner of choice for the kids) let alone offer my kids much attention and direction. We spent all day lying around watching cartoons and snuggling. It was equal parts glorious and torture. And I'm sure it will take me weeks to break my children of this new pattern of TV all the time. But you know, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. God bless Netflix.
One thing that I found interesting is just how much I enjoyed being with them non-stop. Sure, there were times I couldn't wait to get them in their beds so I could take a much needed nap, but all our togetherness, on one couch, made me realize how little time I actually just spend with the kids. When we're home I'm usually getting something done, cleaning up or prepping food, or - I'll say it, checking out. And I try to have something outside the house that we do every morning so we're not going crazy with each other. But when you're sick, and you have no where to be but in your own germy cloud, you strip away all the busyness and activity and you get to really be present. Bennett has all kinds of hilarious things to say and was super helpful fetching things for Lakin and I while we were couch stricken. In fact, little dude loves to help and to be asked for his help. Hmmmm.... this had never occurred to me. He also told me all kinds of interesting facts about himself such as, "He not like corn." and, "He want cake everyday." And Lakin has the most compassionate spirit. She would kiss me on the arm and rub my tummy to help me feel better. She also seemed to understand that I had absolutely little to nothing left to give, and took so much initiative on her own. That girl is full of sweet grace when she sees a person in need. It's one of my favorite things about her.
Maybe we need a pause every now and then? God must know I will only take it when it is forced upon me so perhaps this recent bout of illness was less ill fortune and more divine intervention. I was blessed by being with my people. Even if they needed a serious nose wipe every 2 minutes and resorted to grunts and whines to communicate their every need. It's easy for me to lose sight of my true treasures. Thankfully, God gives me opportunities to see things as they truly are.
Hope you are staying healthy this winter. But if you find yourself cooped up with your sick babies, I hope you can cherish the sweetness in the midst of some minor suffering.