So there was that time were all so sick at Christmas right after the kids turned two.
And then there was that time we were in the hospital the week of Thanksgiving with little man because of pneumonia.
This ranks right up there.
We have been SICK. I haven’t slept through the night in a week. I thought that wouldn’t still be happening with five year olds. I was wrong. First, it was little bit getting sick while I was in DC last Sunday. She had it the longest poor darling. Fevers for FIVE days. After three days, we were at the doctor and they couldn’t find anything. No flu. No weird white blood cell count. Just sick. I was terrified as I fought traffic Wednesday night driving to the farm alone with her fever starting to spike again in the back seat. I called friends to ask for some serious prayers just to get me where I was headed.
By Friday, she was improving, but the eldest had it. And it hit him like a ton of bricks with shakes and body wracking coughs. Meanwhile, while my dearest didn’t have fever, he sounded terrible with his equally racking coughs.
On Saturday, before the plague hit all five of us after leaving the farm, my engine light went on in my car, my mom called to say she had fallen and had been unable to reach a phone, and my car doors somehow magically locked with the keys inside just as I was trying to leave. Saturday night, the three kids and I had fevers, coughs, chills, and sore throats, and the eldest’s got close to topping out at 105. My voice left yesterday and hasn’t returned, and I don’t know when it will (and I’m relieved not to be able to spout orders).
There’s a couple of things I realized as I had time to reflect while lying bundled up in a dark room this morning. One, I’m really glad I’m trying to do community again. Because here’s the thing that happens to us mommas of littles. We have our head so far down trying to survive all that is coming at us that we lose our relationships. I don’t blame us. Seriously, I used to be Emily Post about entertaining and sending thank you notes and casseroles, and I am failing miserably now. I still haven’t sent thank you notes for October birthday presents, and I’ve not taken anyone a casserole after having a baby or death in a year. I’ve sort of been trying to survive. Work, kids, activities, etc.
But what’s happened is I’m actually pretty isolated. I felt like I couldn’t call anyone for help on Saturday night. Let me say this: I COULD have called someone for help, and I SHOULD have called someone for help! However, I felt like since I’ve not done much for others in this survival season of trying to move my family forward that I couldn’t ask for help.
Building community is hard. Especially right now. It takes work. It takes being incredibly intentional. It may take staying up one night to cook a big batch of zucchini bread to freeze in case you have need of it. I need to focus more on building community and then I’ll feel like I have a community if I have need of one too. (If you’re in this survival mode too, then don’t be like me and know you can ask for help when you need it even if you’ve been a little MIA.)
The other thing that struck me was how I’d still rather be terribly ill surrounded by terribly ill littles than be well with no littles. I had a lot of those holidays. I felt physically fine because I wasn’t exposed to itty bitty germs, but I was heartsick. Being a mom means you kiss all over your wee ones when they are puny, and in turn catch whatever plague has beset them. And because they love each other, I can’t seem to separate them enough to keep them from getting each other’s bugs either. And that’s fine too.
In the middle of all that sick, we still managed to see family and the farm and eat well and love well and be together. Our closest little community. So you look at that and pray the rest passes quickly.
Dawn Mast says
I needed these words today. Thank you. Even years after having many sleepless nights and super sick littles and 4 kiddos under the age of 8, your words today resonated with me. Is it the guilt we serve ourselves that we aren’t doing enough even though we are burning our candles at both ends? I think it helps to give ourselves a break and remember we are in a season. This season of raising littles lasts such a short time and there will be time for casseroles, cards and caring for others later. We might have snippets of time for that now, but these years are so short with our children we need to soak in the memories. I love what you said about you’d rather be sick and have littles then healthy and not have littles. That made a huge impression on my heart and soul today. Thank you for your honesty and courage to share this. Blessings, health and a Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Thanks so much Dawn. You are right and for so many of us that are used to going on warped speed, breaks are hard to justify in our heads but are critical for our sanity 🙂