I had already pushed my luck and stayed up later than I should have. Just as I was drifting off to sleep sometime after midnight a little voice cried out, “Mommy!” I hopped out of bed to discover my third born quietly crying in the bathroom. He was tired, hot, and the light was “too bright”. I comforted him and tucked him back into bed only to be beckoned once again a mere twenty minutes later with more tears.
This good-natured almost-five-year-old rarely complains. I did my best to find out what was bothering him and then he drifted back to sleep. This is where is all becomes fuzzy. At some point in the wee hours of the morning he succumbed to a stomach bug. My Bearded Husband and I agreed long ago that this clean-up was my department (don’t worry, he takes care of vermin and clogged drains) so he sweetly asked me for help when he discovered our boy covered in sick. It always amazes me how I can be yanked from a deep sleep and jump into decisive and efficient action. Not bragging, I’m really surprised at myself every time. I cannot recall how often this scenario repeated, but by 6AM I knew I would not be able to be an effective (or pleasant) teacher with so little sleep and a potential conduit of “bleh” coursing through my body. I called in my last remaining Family Care day.
When I got up for the first time that day (or was it last? I was so confused) my body cried out at the injustice. I tense up whenever one of the boy is sick so my entire upper back was knotted and turning my head was a challenge (just stay out of my peripheral vision boys and the world is your oyster today). I had that queasy feeling you get from pulling all-nighters, but those supply notes weren’t going to write themselves. In fact, I wrote them twice. Once for the wrong day, and once for the correct one.
We muddled through the start of our day surprisingly well. My little guy kept down his toast and ginger ale and seemed to be on the mend. Mid-morning, however, he had that drained and pasty look and told me he was cold. Nothing a good cuddle couldn’t fix, right?
I gladly wrapped my arms around my boy and we sat quietly on the couch together looking at the family portraits on the wall. “I wish I was sick every day so then I could always get to have pop,” he told me just moments before he drifted off to sleep. On my lap. Curled up and snoring. That hasn’t happened in at least three years. My neck started to ache, my left foot fell asleep and I had an itch I couldn’t reach because my arm was pinned under my boy who all too soon will turn five.
And it was completely worth it.
Celebrating all of you who are the special someone to someone little. Or big.