These past couple of days have been rough. Tiring. HOT. I spent many of the hours from Tuesday morning until yesterday in bed with a fever. It wasn't until Friday that it hovered at a comfortable 100 degrees, previously spiking between 103 and the normal 98. I called off of work three shifts in a row (which is not a task done lightly when your boss can look out the window and see your house). I cried, I sweat, I was miserable. I don't hear of many adults having fevers such as this - it's more of the random childhood illnesses - chicken pox, the flu, whatever. It's been so long since I've experienced a fever that I think I was quite shocked by it.
But whether the cause was virus or infection - that's not the point of this story. The point is, I was completely absent from my life for 4 days. Not a big deal, right? Maybe if I was taking a planned vacation or maybe if I wasn't deeply entrenched with toddler care. But it felt like a big deal to me. I missed being a part of the daily process. Maybe I missed it more because I wasn't enjoying the forced option I was sweating out while watching TLC.
Our families saved me. Saved my kids. I don't know what other moms do when they are sick. It's the most impossible situation. No energy = no involvement = grumpy kids = no recovery. Gregory's parents quickly stepped up and took Ayla into toddler heaven. She could plant in the garden with Nano, read books with Genevieve, chase kitties, help Gramps with projects and chill with Uncle Matthew. She was certainly getting much more attention there than she would have received from my cave of misery. She spent the nights there and I'm sure she had many a tasty meal. And I knew she was fine, I'm not the type of mom to worry when there is no cause to. In fact, I knew she was having a great time and just might not want to come back?
My mother came over to entertain Jackson. She fed him meals when the thought of cutting up pieces of chicken was too much to bear. She changed the diapers and watched him crawl around the living room.
And Gregory, he managed the world. All of the arrangements had been made before I could ask what we should do. He was getting up early and feeding me, delivering tea and waffles and hot dog buns (ALL I could stomach in the first day)... all before going to work. I could hear him cleaning up the house, mowing the lawn, fixing the bathroom shelves, doing the laundry. It goes on and on.
I was lying in the midst of this - thinking of how things would be if I wasn't there. Indefinitely. Yeah, so I'm morbid. But who hasn't thought it as a parent? Perhaps the high temperatures changed my brain chemistry and I'm now overly sentimental. But, I know, because of family - they'd be taken care of. All we needed was to ask for help and it was there, in abundance.
When Ayla came home last night, she came up to the front door and was knocking, yelling, "Momma, momma!". In my weak emotional state, I cried and hugged her and she pulled away, held my face in her hands and just wanted to look at me. She's got quite a bit of empathy for a little girl. And after a few days of not getting Jackson out of his crib after naps or carrying him around on my hip, he woke up at 3 in the morning (thankfully this is not a habit of his) and wanted to cuddle. He fell asleep in my arms, his cheek to mine, but woke up and clung to me like a monkey when I neared the crib to put him back in. That's the thing with kids, they are just so honest about the love and attention they really need. And it felt good to be back in the mix.
So thank you Gregory and thank you to my mother and especially Gramps & Nano for taking crazy-pants Ayla. I am so lucky to have people to depend on, especially when I'm the type of person who doesn't exactly looooove depending on others. But as responsible and as competent I want to be, I still get sick. And I've been so lucky to have my health and I'm struck by the families with long-term illnesses. It was exhausting for us after only a few days. How do you get through cancer? Through paralysis? Family, that's got to be the only answer.