There is very little in life more worrisome for a young Mama than a sick baby...unless of course it is three sick babies!
February 11, 1999 -- "Benjamin is just teething I think. He had a fever this morning and was real lethargic. But not too sick to name his family....or say BJ and Barney after reading the book his Grandmar sent!"
February 18, 1999 -- "Bless her heart....Claire was up at 11pm. I wasn't in bed yet so I went and got her and tried to rock her to sleep. She was getting restless so I put her back in bed after I gave her some Tylenol for the fever. I listened to her moan, 'Mama, Dada' forever...."
Aug. 17, 1999 -- "Ugh, my poor babies! We have acquired some sort of stomach virus....Mason spiked a fever yesterday....pray this ends soon!"
I had to put a lot of dots in those messages. Some details that young mama me was willing to share in her exhaustion might very well embarrass the teenagers that live at my house. :) But I'm sure you get the picture.
See, just when I would get caught up in thinking about what the future might hold, a baby would start teething, or a virus would hit our house and knock me flat out of speculative worry and directly into real-this-is-happening-now worry!
The little boogers were relatively healthy. No earaches at all until their fifth birthday. But they did that one right. ALL THREE required antibiotics. We were traveling south to live in Florida for three months while Dad completed rotations there. The first morning we awoke in Florida, Wade had already left for work. He didn't have a cell phone. And his pager would not be assigned until later that morning. I had no way to contact him. (That is going to be important.)
Mason came walking into my bedroom complaining that he was itchy. I rolled over and turned the light on and my son, my precious son who had looked completely normal only hours before, was covered in red splotchy hives like I had never seen before from his head to his toes.
And then I did what all smart young mommies do when their guy is not available: I called the next best guy I knew, our pediatrician in Minnesota. Dr. Fischer calmly talked me through what might be happening. He calmly told me what to look for that would send us flying to an emergency room. And he calmly assured me he would find a person for us to SEE in Florida. He did and we loaded up and went. And Mason completely freaked them out to the point that they took photos and the kid graces the pages of a textbook somewhere. Of course. Turns out he is pretty horrifically allergic to amoxycillin. Who knew?
Oh yes, there have been quite a few fevers, runny noses and tummy viruses in this house. We've stayed in our pjs and eaten soup and watched Arthur on TV. I kind of cherished the time when they had a normal sickness. Does that sound odd? Not tummy viruses -- I'm not that crazy. But the little colds, with a slight fever, that made them miss school and want to cuddle on the couch for hours. I liked those days.
Oh I could count hives or ear aches. I could count all the things associated with a tummy virus. Or maybe just the number of times I had to wipe little noses. But I'd much rather count cuddles and days spent with my children where their little fever prevented us from doing one thing away from the sofa.
And isn't that the lesson? We were created by a creator who desires to sit with us. To be. Oh, He is absolutely there for our big stuff -- He is ready to hear our cries when times get hard. But I think sometimes, He would like us to slow down just enough to cuddle near and just (deep deep sigh) be.
Today, I'm counting the cuddles. And I'm using them to remember to slow down and just be.