That break I was looking forward to has instantly disappeared. Instead I get a bowl, find some coke I had hidden away for the days that I needed a pick me up. I hadn't imagined using it to settle a boys stomach. I find a favorite TV show wrapping him up in some blankets, all the while cautioning him to go to the bathroom as the first feeling of another episode. Even though it's so early I tend to the chickens, start a load of wash, bring those hot coals back to life, I make sure little brother also knows what to do if his stomach begins to turn and set breakfast out for him to eat when he is ready. I forget the coffee as my sick boy looks so pathetically in need of his Mama. I sit close, with his head in my lap knowing full well being this close ensures that I too will be this sick. While I sit I pray that somehow this sickness will pass over little brother...That's how my 16 hour day begins.
As the day continues I begin counting my joys. 1. He made it to the toilet. 2. The times he didn't little brother offered to clean it up knowing that I would gag if not vomit my whole way through the process. Even though I would never accept his help his little willing heart warmed my soul. 3. Little brother always had a drink waiting for him to rinse his mouth. 4. He offered to bring in all the wood since his brother was unable to help. 5. Family to bring saltine crackers and the coffee I didn't have time to make for myself. 6. Snuggles as contaminated as they were with a boy who soon would no longer need the cuddles of his mother.
As we said good night to each other I could barely keep my tired eyes open, I fell into bed with the phone to my ear as I listen to the comforting voice of my Strong man so many miles away. While his words are encouraging we both know this is just the beginning. Those plans with friends need to be canceled, school needs to look different, and this introvert has a few more days of nonstop snuggles ahead of her. All the while every moment I am teaching.
As day two drags on with sick boy not quiet healthy but no longer sick. The day after being sick is what I call it and in my opinion it is worse then the actual day of sickness. Sick boy's mind is alert and ready to move, but his body is still weak. He is quick to use his words and his tone is always too sharp. Little brother while loyal and helpful the day before sees no outward signs of sickness and can no longer contain his energy. He is constantly begging to play while flipping himself off the furniture.
As for me, my stomach rolls, but never empties itself. My mind sees all that didn't get done the day before. I work hard to be in the moment teaching the children how to be men of honor. Teaching them respect, and the need to keep going even when life is hard. As they point out how green I look I allow them to love me and take care of me even though I really just want them to play without me. As we do school which I'm convinced we need to do primarily because I need structure even when I'm sick, I can't help but think of those reminders that as a mother I am called to teach just through living life. Funny because that night was we do our daily Bible reading that they boys insist we do, I stop just before that passage. I know it well and I smile at the timing of it showing up. I look forward to reading it tomorrow. I look forward to teaching them how to live again tomorrow. I am pleased that I get to work all these hours, even without a break.
Still tired I fall asleep content that I am where I should be, doing what I am called to do. Thanking God for the 2 little boys in my life.
You shall teach them diligently to you sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
~ Words of Moses, a leader of the Israelite's.