Ginger ale and crackers

Everyone in my house slept through the night. Thanks to my sister, the goddess of basically everything, who brought me a plethora of home remedies including ginger, honey, cloves, apple cider vinegar, peppermint, ginger drops, saltines, ginger ale, and lots of vitamin water, I was able to stop the excruciating pain and vomiting and get some uninterrupted sleep.

Mostly uninterrupted, actually, since my little bear C felt the need to sleep in my bed again. Between some strange show he caught  glimpse of that scared him and watching his mama barely able to drag herself off the bathroom floor, I think he just needed to stay close by.

He was in tears several times last night and kept saying that he didn’t want me to be sick anymore. Poor baby. It’s so hard as a parent to watch your kids be sick. You want to be able to take all the pain away and you feel so helpless to make them better. I had told both of my boys that very thing when they came down with the stomach bug… if I could, I would be sick instead of you. I guess what I didn’t consider was how helpless they feel watching their parent get sick.

I wrote before about how being sick as a single parent is one of the hardest things among many hard things. When I wrote it I was thinking about how you just have to carry on even when you are feeling so miserable. And yet, I didn’t consider how awful it must be when you actually cant carry on. I was only sick like that for a day. I can only imagine what parents go through who have to suffer cancer and chemo treatments or other chronic illnesses that lay them out for days at a time. Knowing your kids are worried and scared must be torture.

The boys didn’t have school today, but I had already paid for the “School’s Out Camp” that they YMCA puts on so that working parents have some options for all the days that kids seem to have off during the school year. So, I made some lunches and put on clean clothes and drove them over to the camp for the day. That was about all I could manage.

When I got home, I took a couple of sips of ginger ale, sent an email to work to let them know I wasn’t going to make it, and crawled back into bed. Part of me felt guilty, like since I wasn’t actively vomiting that I ought to be working or cleaning the house or something. But I realized that the most important thing that I had to do was to be ready for those little boys to come home again. To see a mom who was “better”. To know that she was going to be able to take care of them and that everything was under control.

So I slept most of the day. Then, I gave myself a little pep talk and got up to take a shower and clean the bedclothes and dirty dishes and disinfect the bathroom. Now, I feel like I just won a marathon. Climbing onto my stripped down bed with a little plate of crackers and my cup of ginger ale, I realize once again how lucky I am. Soon, I will go and pick up the boys and make them dinner and we will all snuggle and watch a movie and they will feel safe and loved and secure. And that is all I can ask for.

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