This post was originally published on my personal blog, Love Well, last May. In keeping with the theme, I'm running this encore essay because my kids are sick again, leaving me little energy -- mental or physical -- to write something you'd actually want to read. (I assume most of you don't want to hear the synonyms for snot.) Enjoy. And bless you. (Oh wait. You didn't sneeze? Sorry.)
1. My kids have been healthy all winter. Now that it's May and sunny and 70, they are sick. Natalie fell first. She got a medium-high fever last Friday with a side of sore throat. She was back to full strength by Tuesday. Which is when Connor turned ashen during his tumbling class. He threw up twice during dinner. Yesterday, he still had a fever, so he went to bed early. Natalie, meanwhile, sat in her bed until 9:00 PM, making up songs about believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and generally being cuter than a basket of fuzzy puppies.
2. Which is why Natalie was the one who woke me at 2:00 AM with a sweet whisper. "Mom, I just threw up." My first response was, "No you didn't. You're not sick. Are you sure?" Then I leaned closer and smelled her breath. She wasn't joking. (I'm a bit of an idiot when woken from the sleep of the zombies.)
3. When Connor was sick, I could tell when he was getting ready to blow, because his moaning and writhing would increase in intensity. Therefore, I always had a bucket ready for him. Natalie, apparently, has no such Emergency Broadcast System. So there was no bucket waiting for her.
4. Since Connor had a bucket, he threw up things like apples and water. Since Natalie had no bucket, she threw up everything she had eaten in the last 12 hours (shrimp, pasta, green beans, milk, chocolate pudding and carrots -- lots of carrots). I am now on hour 8 of "Mega-Hazardous Waste Clean-Up" and the 18-inch stain by the side of her bed is finally starting to fade.
5. I gag the gag of a thousand hypochondriacs when faced with the smell of vomit. Yet God made me a mother.
6. Because of the illness, both kids stayed home from school today. Which meant the two sick kids had to accompany me to Teyla's four-month well-baby check-up. Which means I took my last remaining healthy child to the doctor so she could get shots, be cranky and run a fever.
7. After the doctor's appointment, the kids decided they felt good enough to eat lunch. They requested microwavable mac and cheese. Which smells like vomit to me.
8. I had all kinds of goals for this week. I've accomplished very few of them. Which is probably why God had me read this quote Sunday night: "I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I slowly realized that my interruptions were my work." (Out of the Solitude, Henri Nouwen)
Kelly also blogs at Love Well -- when she isn't mothering sick children, that is.