Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sickness helping me see

A steady diet of Kleenex will do the trick!

I'm typing this in the corner of our yard, watching the boys play with dirty water on the patio.  Thomas has only underwear on, Emerick has one of Thomas's old tanks on, and Alistair has a white t-shirt bedazzled with graham cracker crumbs.

I came down with a cold yesterday, and it punched me in the face about a dozen times this morning and then drowned me for a few hours. I think it's packing its bags though. Yes, please.  I don't have any business sending (more) texts to everyone in my phone that death is passing over my home in the form of a wee cough & runny nose.

When I get a cold, I'm panicky. They last 4 days, usually. I hate not being able to get as much work done.  It's already enough work to keep me focused. Add a cold and throw in two toddler twins crying and whining because they don't understand why their snotty heads and little coughy bodies have betrayed them and I'm all staring emoticon x 1000. 

Highlights of the day = 

* Thomas bringing me water & getting me Kleenexes 

* Thomas's sincere & sweet dismay over getting "all of you so sick"

* Emerick & Alistair sweetly cupping my face and giving me little rubs because they know something is up for Mommy to be sprawled out on the couch & wailing, "WHY?? WHY??!"

Lowlights = 

* Clinging to the promise of nap time... and then it only lasting 1 hr 10 minutes. 

* Feeling okay enough to clean the kitchen & within two minutes a small child slides a glass riiiiiiighhhht across the counter into the dishwasher below, shattering it into all the places and directions. Missed the mark just a touch, buddy.

Bonus: Yesterday, I found out six hours after going to the gym that when I was in the very, very front of Zumba class dropping my booty and shaking it for the dozens of women behind me to see, my pants were in fact inside out. Poster mother for having it all together. Right. Here.

Emerick just walked up to Thomas with a cup of water. 

Thomas said, "Thank you for that, but if you'll excuse me I would like you to go ahead and leave please." He gently escorted Emerick away and then he said to me, "that's what you say when you need them to leave you alone but in a nice way."

What can I say to that? Teach me your ways, Thomas. 

*    *    *

There is one awesome thing about being sick. About twenty awful things, but definitely one good thing. That one good thing is being so incapable of doing anything that you truly stop & take account of how things are. 

Today, as I slowly warm back to life, I see three boys in my house.  They play with each other and learn together.  They laugh, run, build, and shout. They talk and listen and solve problems together (even if it's not always a win-win resolution).  Right now I see my crew of boys walking across the retaining wall I built earlier this summer. These boys love being tough, testing physical boundaries, and even walking with little pumping fists and puffed out chests.

"Mom, watch this! Watch this! Watch this!" [Thomas jumps backwards off the wall]

"Watch this! Watch this party jump!" [Thomas jumps forward yelling, "Osakooooo!!"]

Alistair comes around the corner from the other patio & Thomas says, "Oh there you are. I thought you were dead! Don't ever do that again. I was so worried about you!"

*    *    *

I see the boys interact sweetly, fiercely, lovingly--together.  I see little soldiers walking in a row and yelling indecipherably. I peek into their room and see a wash of blue and little beds, of toys and hopes scattered out across the floor for these real people in little bodies.
Today was that day where I stopped and felt it. I felt it before, little notes of it, but today it was a crystal clear ping. Alistair and Emerick, you belonged all along. It's not us + you. It's us as our family was always meant to be, all I know now and all I would have cared to know had I known it was there all along in the possibility of things outside the plans.

I trip on myself. I run ahead in my mind. I make big plans. I worry about when I will go back to teaching, how long I will get to homeschool my kids, and if there will ever be another little baby in our home. And yes, I know I can't do it all, but .... can I do it all? Please!!!  Oh hush, this sickness says. Stop running, this cold says.  Sit and savor, if only for just a day.  Be gentle. Be slow. See all that is good right here, right now and don't worry more than you need to for this day, this moment,  those kids thirty yards in front of you smeared in mud and charging with sticks. 

These little blossoms of things I've stumbled upon.  These little guys.  I love them so very much it hurts when I stop long enough to let my heart catch up, when I step away from the to do list, when I'm so sick and so foggy that I can't dress myself properly, that I clean the kitchen and call it a day and spend the rest of it letting them climb all over me and kiss me on the cheek.

Thank goodness for a sick day every once in a while.  

But only every once in a while because oh my word was it tough. I'm going back to work tomorrow, but I'll be waiting for my "taking care of little sick people who don't make sense while you are also sick and also don't make sense" trophy to come in the mail any day.


  1. Beautiful post! I though of you last night as I was rereading a great book, " Einstein Never Used Flashcards " by Hirsh-Pasik and Golinkoff. You would love it!

    1. I put the book on my Goodreads list (my out of control Goodreads list). Thank you! I absolutely love learning about children. I've had so much time with teenagers in the classroom, but I love that I'm really seeing & witnessing so many cool things about young kiddos too! Any book you ever want to pass along--please do! :)

  2. Beautiful post! I though of you last night as I was rereading a great book, " Einstein Never Used Flashcards " by Hirsh-Pasik and Golinkoff. You would love it!

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