I zipped off to the grocery store around 3:00 yesterday. As I drove I contemplated a day fraught with frustrations:
1. I lost my keys.
2. Tim came down with strep throat.
3. John had a colossal meltdown in front of my friend.
Off to the store I went. My brief shopping list included:
2. Macaroni and cheese
If I could have peered into the upcoming night, I would have snatched a few bottles of Gatorade (and maybe an extra bottle of Merlot). Kolbe vomited all night long, and Ainsley joined the fun at daybreak. It was hard night, but oddly a sweet one as well. Kolbe was sick and scared and miserable. He wanted Mom. I slept next to him in his tiny twin bed using Scooby-Doo as a pillow. I rubbed his back and brought him a damp cloth as he suffered through this nasty bug. I got up and bathed Ainsley, washed her pretty blond hair, threw her sheets in the laundry. Then she upchucked once again.
Sickness begins with that annoying change of plans. A rash of phone calls to doctors, school, coaches. There are waiting rooms to deal with and long lines at pharmacies. Carpools have to be rearranged and plans get canceled. There is always laundry, laundry, laundry.
But sickness also brings down time, unexpected togetherness, busyness that comes to a sudden halt. We play scrabble when the painkillers have kicked in. We watch Wallace and Gromit and Finding Nemo. We rock feverish bodies. We read stories to pass the time.
One of my best memories of Kolbe's infancy was the day I came down with a raging case of mastitis. In all my life, I don't remember being sicker or weaker than I was that day. Ten-day-old Kolbe lay next to me in bed. He nursed and slept. I nursed and slept. We never moved from the bed. I fell in love with him in a new and deeper way that day. Simply being together and taking care of his most basic needs brought me joy.
So I face an unexpected change of plans. Will it be merely an annoyance to get though? Or will it be an unexpected gift of time with my kids?
The choice is mine.