Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Week 15: Kindness Close to Home

Six days ago, my family and I were two hours from home celebrating Christmas with my husband's family when I became suddenly feverish and achy and developed a cough and headache.  I looked at my husband and said, "I'm not feeling well.  I'm sorry, but I think we need to go."

It was an endlessly long ride home.  The van heater was on full blast with all vents pointing to a frigid, teeth-chattering me while the rest of my family suffered in a mama-made sweat lodge.

Once home, I said hello to our dogs and goodbye to my husband and children...I retired to bed at 3:30 in the afternoon.  Later that evening, I awoke to our youngest child crying because she couldn't kiss and hug me goodnight.  I snuck to her door and told her I loved her...and did my best to explain to my sweet six year old why not giving love was an act of love in this case.

For the next three days I ventured out of bed the least I could.  I fetched my own water, Advil, blankets and occasional snack.  I did everything I could to cocoon myself in the flu in hopes of protecting my family.

Sadly, despite my best efforts, I awoke on day four to the sound of my daughters both coughing.  A cough I recognized.  I bounded out of bed with strength I didn't know remained, and told my husband to stay downstairs.  I went upstairs and saw my children's faces for the first time in days...but their eyes were glossed over and their cheeks were red.  I kissed each of their foreheads, both for comfort and to confirm their fevers, and told them to get back into their pajamas and bed.

It is now day three of their flu-journey (that sounds so much more adventurous than this is) and there is still one to shield from this nightmare, my husband.  And so I am now multitasking the flu: resting, making trips upstairs to bring them juice, Popsicles, pretzels, tomato some more, bring up some snuggles (the best part of having fellow flu-suffers in the house), water, an apple or pear...and then rest some more.

The Kindness Countdown is at home this week...I'm trying to nurse my children (and myself) back to health.  Nothing glamorous.  Nothing mothers and fathers haven't been doing since the beginning of time.  But hopefully my kids will remember the little games I've invented this week to lift their spirits and give them positive things to think about in their dark moments as I do some of the things my mom and dad (and my grandma and grandpa, when my parents were working) did for me when I was sick.

I'm doing my best to line the flu in silver.

"Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home." -Mother Teresa

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