The girls have been sick this week, in some ways, sicker than I’ve ever seen them. Technically, Baby A was sicker when she had the flu when she was two, followed by a sinus infection, but I just don’t remember my babies ever being so pitiful.
It started Sunday morning with what I thought – and hoped! – was a random throw-up from Baby A. I approached breakfast cautiously, but both girls ate well and played like they do every day.
About 10:30, though, Baby B threw up, and the rest of the day was full of the same, from both girls…in between changes of clothes and loads of laundry.
What has been so striking to me is how poor the girls have felt. Every other time they’ve been sick, they might have fussed more than average, but they still played on some level. They might have wanted some extra snuggles, but they were still up and about.
This time, though, all they wanted to do was lie on a blanket on the floor. Sometimes they wanted me to read to them, but other times they just wanted to lie there. They slept off and on, but they mostly just rested.
It was the most pitiful sight, and it just tore at my heart to see them. Still, I couldn’t help but be thankful as I watched them.
I was thankful for the opportunity to be here with them.
I know when they’re in school, Husband and I will be juggling sick days, alternating who stays home and for how long. Now, though, I don’t have anywhere else I need to be. I can be here with my girls in my entirety, heart and soul, and that just feels right.
I was thankful for the opportunity to just “be” with them.
They rested so peacefully, and it was such a blessing to sit in the stillness of their slumber. I watched them sleep, and listened to them breathe.
At times the girls wanted me to read to them, or to draw with them, but mostly they just wanted me to be there. I sat for a long time both days with my hand on A’s foot. A couple of times I snuggled between the girls and dozed myself. They just wanted their mama.
A few other things I was thankful for…
· That the girls were sick at the same time. It was hard to manage (especially at one point when they were throwing up at the exact same time), but I’m hoping this means we’ll get the virus over with as expeditiously as possible. And I didn’t have to manage a special diet for only one, which is usually pretty excruciating.
· Seeing the girls help each other. When Baby B first threw up, I was right in the middle of her mess. Baby A ran to get towels for me, opened the door to the bathroom for me, and helped me get the things I needed to give B a bath. And several times, when one baby would start coughing, the other would come rushing over with the bucket, even before I could react. Seeing the sisterly caring – akin to a motherly instinct – in action was so very sweet.
· That the girls are old enough to use a bucket. In all the action we had, I only had to clean one tiny spot on the carpet. That definitely made things more bearable!
· And, on a bit of a silly note, I got a backwards kind of kick out of seeing B cuddling with the bucket as she napped at one point. Our girls don’t have loveys, but I imagine it would be even cuter if she were snuggled with a teddy bear. :)
And I’m the most thankful to report that the girls are on the road to recovery. No vomit yesterday, and they were up to playing yesterday afternoon. They’re up to mischief this morning, so you know that’s a good sign.
Sometimes these forced slow-downs are a good reminder of how blessed we are, as well as a reminder to look for silver linings, even amid sickness and strife.