"Can I have a drink of water, Mom?" That's what I heard at 4:45am this morning from my feeble four-year-old little boy. He had crawled in bed between his Dad and me sometime in the night, body hot with fever, tongue burned dry. He's the fourth in our family this week to be stricken with this awful virus.
Last week was quite different. We went on a 7-night Mexican Riviera Disney Cruise with my husband's entire family. It feels like we were gone a month - we've never taken a vacation that long. Our ship sailed day after day on that strong and powerful body of water - the very thing our family craves this week.
We all returned sun-kissed - I love that - it brings out little freckles on the kids' noses. The weather was unbelievable! Adults spent days long laying out by the refreshing pool filled with water while children splashed in it.
And in Puerto Vallarta, even the adults played in the beautiful blue ocean water while children filled their swimsuits with sand.
Having so much time to rest, play as a family, no cooking or laundry, I was refreshed and ready to come home and take on life again. A friend and I discussed beginning a new exercise routine upon my return, and I was highly motivated to do so (after spending the week in a swimsuit)!
We returned Sunday, but I knew the final days of the cruise that I was catching something. My head felt like a bowling ball. A nasty cough took over my body and exhausted me. Not cool! I don't have time to be sick. We'd already been gone so long, I needed to get home and get busy, return to schooling.
That wasn't in God's plan. By the night of my return, I had a fever of 101. Thank God my Pastor-Husband took Monday off from work so he could recoup. I don't think he did much recouping - he ended up substituting for mom, as I didn't move from bed. Doctor said I had a sinus infection and off husband went to pick up antibiotics. Great! Light at the end of the tunnel! We should be back up and running in no time!
Day #2 back home: My 8yo wakes up barking like a seal and by nightfall, also has a fever of 101. Luckily, I was able to squeeze a little school in (curled up on the couch) so we wouldn't fall behind.
Day #3: My 3yo wakes up feverish, coughing, runny nose. He's so small, it's very sad when he's ill.
Day #4: My 4yo caught it. He started the day not wanting to leave my lap. I knew it was coming for him too. By afternoon, he was burning up. And I'm handing out rounds of Children's Tylenol on a regular schedule, plus keeping up with my own antibiotics. I myself still only feel 50%.
And that brings us to this morning. Didn't sleep well with little bony knees in the small of my back most of the night. Couple that with the fact my Pastor-Husband says he thinks he's getting sick. He's already been out of the pulpit the last two Sundays for our cruise. Recovery for all the ill has been very slow - slower than I thought.
Then 6:00am this morning, my bedroom door slowly opens. Light appears. I hear loud coughing. Which child is it this time? I don't have any more room in my bed. I see a tall figure. "Mom," the voice creaks. "I have a fever." It's my oldest and only girl - the one who has denied the whole week she would get sick. Daddy gets up this time, gets her Tylenol and ice water - that substance that gives life and fun and "floats our boat" - and offers his spot in bed to her, heading himself for the couch.
While the week would ordinarily seem quite unproductive to me - a waste - I don't have that sense today. We did what God wanted us to do this week - we focused on one another, served each other, everyone pitching in, rested, nurtured one another, watched movies, did school laying on pillows and covered with blankets, massaged lotion into tiny toes, and this is what was supposed to happen this week. I'm right where I want to be - where He wants me to be. I thank God I get to be here for every little one who needs Momma when they're sick, for every little tear running down a cheek, every dry tongue that needs the refreshing of life - and every child who utters, "Mom, can you pray for me?" Thank You, God, for the privilege of being a Mom, for being here, right where you called me to be. Was this in my plans? Not whatsoever. But the older I get in God, the more meaningless my plans become. It's all up to Him, anyways. I surrender all.