Today I write this fuzzy-headed and worn.
On July twentieth, we returned home from a whirlwind trip to visit family in Wisconsin. Someone in our house has been sick ever since. First it was me, with mastitis. Then Asher got a cold, followed quickly by an ear infection. Dave was so sick last weekend he spent much of it in bed. He’s still carrying around a box of Kleenex. Wednesday brought Everett’s fever, which is still going strong.
Sickness with small ones is exhausting. I have been “on” for most of the last three weeks. Friday night Dave offered me a night out, which sounded wonderful until Friday night, when I was so tired I opted instead to lie in bed and watch TV. I am worn.
Yesterday I read this blog post in a quick break between nursing Asher, settling Everett for a rest, and caulking the new siding on the back of the house. I was reminded of the miracle of this body of mine, the body I’m called to spend on behalf of those around me. Today, that is my husband and children. I am called to physically, wholly, lay this body down, to sacrifice my sleep and strength on behalf of my family.
The nights have been long, the days longer. They blur together. We wake in the night to administer Tylenol, change sweat-soaked sheets and pajamas. Asher has been waking for the day before 5am, so Dave and I sleep in shifts until 9 or so.
This morning at ten, Dave said to me, “So what do we need to accomplish today before I go to work in an hour?” I gulped. How could it be ten? Dave always starts his Sundays at eleven, but normally that means we have several hours of family time before he leaves. Today is not normal.
“I think I’d better run to Trader Joe’s,” I said. That’s all I have the capacity for right now—to think about providing sustenance for us and our children.
I hopped in the car and made a quick run. In the pasta aisle, I noticed a pack of spinach and chive linguine. I know people say not to shop hungry, but I think it’s also a bad idea for me to shop tired—I have a lot of fear of scarcity around both food and sleep when I’m exhausted and am far more likely to impulse-buy. I grabbed the linguine and kept going down my list.
I got home, kissed Dave goodbye, and put Everett on FaceTime with my family. Asher was sleeping. I boiled water, deviating from my usual lunch of fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese. I cooked the linguine, then mushrooms and tomatoes. I drizzled on the leftover homemade sauce from Saturday’s pizza and added a couple of dollops of cottage cheese. All this, layered in the beautiful blue bowl I bought at CB2 a few weeks ago and hadn’t used yet, wondering if I’d buy a set or return it.
After the pasta was gone, I held the empty bowl in my hands. Heat lingered in the clay and in my belly.
Today I lay my body down. But I also pause for a moment, holding an empty bowl, in thanks for the sustenance it has offered. I thank God that I don’t yet have the virus that has ransacked our “normal” the last few weeks. I thank Jesus for spending his body on my behalf. I thank God for the privilege of stumbling through these weeks, for enough energy to get through each day, and for reminding me to be grateful (because many days I am not).