I’m writing this post from under a pile of blankets in my bed. I’ve been ‘banking’ blog posts this past week so that new ones will keep running even while I’m unavailable–as we gear up for Ian to go. By the time this post runs I will be well again and Ian will be gone. But from here in my bed right this moment I can hear everything and appreciate how wonderful Ian is, and dread the possibilities of getting sick like this while he’s away.
When we came back from our trip to the cottage both Aden and I got sick. Aden has a long history of complicated sinus infections that crop up now and then and are hard to shake. We have a nebulizer at home and when she starts getting a cough we put her on the nebulizer before bed and it buys us time for her to heal herself rather than run off to the doctor. Since we didn’t have the nebulizer at the cottage her condition got away from us this time and she got pretty sick. She didn’t seem deathly ill, because she was still literally dancing around and asking for play dates and being her bright-eyed sweet self, so we sent her to school with what we thought was just a cough. The school nurse took one listen and had me come pick her up, and the doctor declared her close to pneumonia. She told us if Aden were three and not seven she would have been hospitalized. Definitely one of those moments as a mom where I felt like I’d failed, but it’s so hard to tell when they need a doctor and when it’s nothing, and this time we guessed wrong. Now Aden’s on medicine that she complains about and has a strict routine with the nebulizer. The whining about the taste of the medicine is a good sign that she’s feeling like herself.
Mona, Quinn, and Ian all coughed briefly and bounced back. I was not bouncy. I saw a couple of people with appointments at the violin shop my first day back, and then Ian told me to go home and crawl in bed. I’ve spent most of my time here ever since, but today I’m feeling like myself again. I sweated under blankets and used up a whole box of kleenex and now I’m ready to go. All I really needed was rest and thanks to Ian I got it. I remember how impossible it was to be sick during his last deployment. At one point I had a bout of mastitis that I thought was the flu when Quinn was small and I felt like I was going to die. But it makes no difference to babies and small children if you feel that way, so I still dragged myself around the house, making breakfast and filling sippy cups and nursing Quinn and putting shoes on little feet. Now it’s an ugly blur but it’s amazing looking back to realize what you can do when you have no choice.
My heart goes out to single parents. Ian was raised alone by his mother and I’m in awe of the job she did. It’s beyond difficult. There are days even two parents aren’t enough. I remember when Aden was a baby and my brother Barrett came to visit, having that third adult in the house was magic. Ian and I could go out together to run an errand and Aden could still play or sleep at home. It’s hard enough when things are fine, but throw sickness into the mix and it’s ridiculous. I’ve really appreciated this chance to curl up in bed and get better. I know with Ian gone I’d be sick for weeks because rest would not be an option.
But when I do get sick again I know better than to whine. I will try to have enough sense to ask for help even though I’m not good at it. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself when you’re not feeling well, but a friend of mine has a younger brother with a brain tumor. She emailed me today about his operation. Few things snap you to attention and make you put things into a better perspective than the words ‘brain tumor.’ A silly cough seems almost like a gift now.
But back to what I can hear downstairs: Ian told me to stay in bed and he shut our door so none of the kids would bother me, but I can still hear everything. Ian’s made the kids french toast. Quinn woke up last, as usual (he’s a night owl like me, and not designed to rise early like the girls), so he probably won’t get any breakfast until later. Mona is asking to have hers cut up. She says “mines” instead of “mine,” because she hears it as “Yours and mines.” She’s starting to learn to cut things herself, but its faster in the morning when time is short to help her, so there is a lot of “Cut mines up!” at 7:00am. Aden hasn’t coughed once, but I heard the nebulizer running before breakfast. There’s a lot of dawdling when they get dressed. I just heard Aden and Mona having an animated discussion about what socks to wear to make their outfits look like some kind of pattern. On other mornings if they dress alike they call themselves twins. Ian’s calling up the stairs, “Potty and shoes!” which is the last warning before leaving the house. Everyone has to use the bathroom, everyone has to find shoes. Mona is the most efficient with ‘potty and shoes,’ Aden is the least. The backdoor just closed. I’m alone.
I’m just going to lie here a moment and enjoy the silence. I guarantee by the time this post hits my blog any chance that I’m sleeping in is over.