Down & Out

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The flu has been our unwanted house guest this holiday season.  My last few days have been a blur of rinsing puke buckets, washing bedding, drawing baths, cracking open cans of 7-Up, and watching The Secret Life of Pets over and over.

Asher was the flu’s first victim.  He was first sick at 1 a.m. December 26 and was last sick at 9 a.m. December 27.  After the latter we made him go outside with Beau to feed cows, and the fresh air (and fresh outlook) finally healed him.

Emilyn was first sick early yesterday morning and most recently sick about an hour ago.  She’s a toughie, though; after throwing up she’ll take a quick nap then hop up going strong like nothing was every wrong.  (Future mother?)

Marsielle threw up in her crib all night long the night before last.  It was yet another moral parenting dilemma:  after the first time or two she was all but empty of fluids, and she was too exhausted to cry, basically dry-heaving in her sleep… so I mostly opted to leave her in her crib and just stayed nearby to make sure she was still breathing, even though I knew come morning her hair would be matted with slobber and her sheets stained yellow.  Sure enough.  Then, all day long yesterday, she couldn’t keep anything down but was so thirsty; she longed for a cup of water which inevitably came back up.  Ice chips finally saved us, and she made it through last night without throwing up.  Though for some reason she threw up first thing this morning.

I went through a mild case of the flu myself yesterday, and Beau was up all last night with the same.

So if you’ve been looking for me, I’ve been laying beside our 6-year-old through the night with a bucket at the ready; I’ve been on the couch with our 3-year-old in my arms; and I’ve been in the shower with a scared and exhausted baby.  Our wee ones have needed care, and I have been honored to give it to them.

I expect these hours spent holding and rocking and just being still with them to be the greatest investment, as well as the great privilege, of my life.

© Tami Blake

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