As of Tuesday, no one around here had fever. All the kids, even little Josiah of the “bad poop”, as he has learned to say this past week, were mending. And we were thankful. And even cautiously optimistic. Maybe not cautious enough…
Friends and family brought us supper a few times this past week. How wonderful these meals have been, both in removing a daily chore, and in helping to lift our spirits. I think food tastes ten times better when someone else brings it to us whilst in the midst of a hard situation. Thanks to all of you who helped…the meals are appreciated more than you know.
For the last couple of days I have said to everyone who has kindly asked that we think maybe we’re seeing the end of the illness that has plagued our family for some time now. I went so far as to promise our “pool-sick” children (think “homesick”) that we would plan a big day at the pool this Friday in celebration of our release from the clutches of the fever. I even had leftover cold chicken from our generous meal-bringers to make into tasty sandwiches for the occasion! But I think we will have to change our plans. You see, Josiah came down with a bad fever today. Much of the day he would only lay in my arms because he was so worn out by it. I was really looking forward to playing with him tomorrow in the baby pool, but I think instead we will be spending some more quiet time here at home.
We purchased a pool membership at the start of summer since we knew we’d not be travelling away much during the season, and weren’t planning on using camps or the like to occupy the children through the hot months. We thought it reasonably likely we could take serious advantage of a wonderful pool a street over from our home that had a great family setting and convenient facilities for both big and small kids. And the times we have been able to go have been really great.
But it would be an understatement to say we have not used this pool nearly as much as we’d thought we would. The last time we were able to go (when everyone was healthy) was in early July. In fact, I am trying hard not to do the math to figure out the value we got (or didn’t get) on this whole pool thing by taking how much joining the pool cost us, divided by the very few times we actually got ourselves there to swim. It’s too depressing.
So, where does all that leave us? Sick…again. Taking temperatures and doling out meds….again. Losing sleep because I am up in the night comforting the scared child who has wakened burning with fever and sobbing for his Mommy…again. Canceling yet more playdates, and pool dates, and supper plans with many, many friends, who are all so sweet and gracious, but whom we don’t actually seem to get to see or spend time with lately. Not doing a host of things I thought we should do this summer, and feeling sad about the fact that school begins in two weeks and I don’t feel like we’ve truly had a summer, at least not in the way I thought we should.
And yet, in the midst of the frustration, there are little treasures to unearth and savor. Like having ample opportunity to help our children understand that being part of a family who loves each other deeply means all of us hurting when one of us hurts. And having many, many chances to practice living contentedly with whatever circumstance we are given (not that I am good at this yet!). Rejoicing heartily over our family being reunited when Jay and little Jonathan returned home after being in the hospital for a few days. And cherishing those moments here at home all together these past four weeks, both the good times and the not so good times. Feeling sad about what I could view as missed opportunities, and then realizing my plans aren’t really what it’s all about. Seeing my children taking turns caring for the sick ones among us by making cards, praying for each other, bringing stuffed animals, reading stories, and watching countless movies together….always letting the sick one pick his or her favorite! Wishing we could all be outdoors splashing and playing in the sun, and yet relishing the feel of my cuddly little Josiah in my arms since it’s the only place he feels comforted right now. And in these moments I remember how blessed I truly am. And I am thankful.