I had this great post planned for today – the final installment of my big decision series. It went the way of all of my meetings and plans for today: out the window.
I had late meetings last night so, despite a few runny noses and innocuous cough when I left yesterday morning, I expected nothing out of the ordinary when I got home and the kids were in bed. I think that is why I am still stunned as I sit and type this. I’ve been up since 2:30 am today (it’s 8 pm now and Bray’s putting the kids down after my extended shift). The baby has asthma. I will never adjust to how a little cold turns into a croup and then into a battle for him to breath. When morning officially dawned, I’d been up for hours with the baby and our albuterol inhaler ticking down the moments til the doctor’s office opened. As the sun peaked out, all three kids had coughs and fevers.
My nanny had the day off due to a death in the family. Bray and I had cobbled together coverage so we could make the umpteen meetings we both had at work today – school covered us in the morning, he’d do drop off, I’d do pick up, and we’d have a sitter cover the afternoon til my mom could come after work. That all went out the window because you can’t leave really sick kids with someone who doesn’t know them and you certainly don’t go to school. Bray stayed with two while I rushed the baby into the first appointment of the morning. Dropping oxygen, tight chest, breathless, speechless. I cried as I asked the doctor if this was going to be a forever thing because I never get used to it. She entertained him while I composed myself. (She’s awesome by the way. She said, no, it’s not forever, and you haven’t had any sleep.)
I cancelled all my meetings and left my iPhone, that I delusionally thought I’d use to check in with work, somewhere between the bathroom and the kitchen as we ran between fevers, vomiting, coughing, shaking, crying, and utter exhaustion. Me and the kids. I wondered if I’d ever had all three this sick on the same day. I remember a particularly excruciating bout with a stomach virus we all five had but even that unfolded over about five days. Today, I’d successfully get one fever under control only to have another spike. I’d get lunch made only to have one cough so violently that it was all lost.
This is the weirdest thing. I never screamed. I never lost my temper. I never regretted not being at work. I never felt frustrated this was the day the nanny ended up gone. I felt relieved to be the one here. I felt this immeasurable surge of love and protection and compassion for these beautiful sick people that laid on my lap all day and held my hand. I felt like a mom. And only a mom. I felt no tug of multiple commitments today. I did no multi-tasking. I just fixed kids.
The other post will come. The meetings will occur tomorrow (regardless of if I get any sleep tonight). But today I am reminded that sometimes a change of plans can be a gift. Even under upsetting circumstances, God works wonders.