I have been sick for the last week. Like knock a mommy off her feet sick. The kind of sick where you turn on cartoons and pray the children survive until Daddy comes home. The kind of yucky feeling that prompted me, the person who never goes to doctors to go to Urgent Care.
Yesterday I woke up at 5:30 a.m., to prepare to babysit the little baby I take care of to supplement our income. I knew that she was sick as well (she got me sick after all). I also knew, she was coming over anyway, because her mommy is a single mom and can’t afford to take off work. She wasn’t going to get us any sicker anyway. I also was aware that she was to be at my home until after seven in the evening. Needless to say, I was prepared for a long day.
My kids surprised me yesterday, they slept in but when they woke up I discovered something unpleasant. They too are now sick. Oh how I hate it when my kids are sick. I don’t like to see them suffering. There is nothing that makes my day longer than having all the kids sick, being about half sick myself, and being terribly behind on all things house work related.
I worked all day long. I took care of the sick children that surrounded me. I cleaned like a woman possessed with the idea that this sickness must forever be banished from my home. I managed to get home school done with my daughter in small bite sized bits all day long and by the end of the day I was tired. You know the bone tired feeling when all you really want is to lay down on your gloriously comfortable bed and pass out for a week. My body is still fighting this sickness and wasn’t quite ready to work all day long.
I still wasn’t done for the day though. The baby was still at my house and I still needed to make dinner. I decided on what at the moment I considered a relatively simple dinner plan. I decided on White Chicken Chili and corn bread. The corn bread being from a mix is easy. The chili is a thirty minute recipe, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, right?? I started chopping up the veggies for the chili and of course the baby starts to cry. I stop change the diaper, wash my hands and go back to cooking dinner. She starts crying again. I stop, feed her a bottle and go back to cooking dinner again. She starts crying again (at this point, my 30 minute meal is well into an hour by the way). I stop, comfort her, put her into a different seat, go back to cooking again. I burn my arm on the pan, somehow get my food processor jammed up and weep terribly as the onions for the chili cook down, but finally after an hour and a half of chaos and crying, my thirty minute, simple recipe is finished and the baby got picked up by mommy.
This was the moment, that all I wanted to do is feed my kids a quiet dinner and put them to bed. I longed for silence and cooperation. My daughter started running a fever again and no longer felt like eating much. She ate some bread and passed out on the couch. I gave my son his dinner and he informed me this is not his favorite food and has no intention of eating it. He apparently did not get the memo that I was wanting cooperation and to pass out. I told him he needed to eat and if he won’t eat, he can always have chili for breakfast. (some of you may disagree with our parenting choices here, but my husband and I have a long-standing rule, you need to eat some of your dinner or you can have it for breakfast, we never wanted our kids to think being super picky was okay).
I sat down with my son, while we ate dinner. Just me and my sweetest little guy. We just talked….we talked and talked and talked. We talked about why he is “sad at me” for having him eat his dinner in the first place. He then tried his food and discovered it was “delicious.” I spent an hour and a half sitting with my three-year old son, talking to him about everything from all the things he gets “sad at me” for (that list was long :)), we talked about his favorite subject cooking, and most precious of all we talked about Jesus. He told me how he loved Jesus and all about how Jesus is alive. He told me that Jesus created him. He talked about how Jesus forgives. I was surprised by our conversation. Here in the moment that all I wanted to do was to go to bed, I ended up with one of my most treasured memories. I am glad I took the time to just sit and talk with my son. He poured out his little heart to me, both good and bad, and it was a refreshing. The day was long, it was tiring, my arm hurt but in the end it was phenomenal. There is nothing more precious than the time I get to spend with my kids. I am so happy I took the time.
Feeling blessed to have such an amazing little boy. May you all have those unexpected best evenings.