Skip to main content

Coughs and Sniffles

It’s nearly eleven p.m. and all of the children fell asleep by eight, tucked into sleeping bags at the foot of my bed. We transformed the bedroom into sick bay as one child after another came down with a hacking cough and an aching body. Charlie got sick on Sunday night and by Monday afternoon all five children and Stuart were coughing and shivering and aching. I alone remain healthy. Now it’s Thursday and the coughing continues.

The humidifier breathes out steam into the darkened room. The children inhale moisture and cough on the exhale. My last few days have been spent distributing lemon water, saline spray, and homemade chicken soup. The kids thank me for this by coughing into their dinners…and mine. Mountains of soggy tissues decorate the livingroom. Well, not exactly tissues. Toilet paper. They blew through the two family-sized boxes of tissues three days ago.

Stuart is curled into a ball on the bed beside me, alternately throwing off his covers and reaching for them again. His head pounds and he shifts restlessly trying to find a comfortable position. He stayed home from work today, a first this year, and Claire delighted in bringing him his meals and making him glasses of lemon water. I have been impressed to see how the kids still serve other family members even in the midst of their current discomfort.

We are in the golden years of parenting. I have not had to soothe a feverish baby or comfort a thrashing little one in the middle of the night. The children have been fairly self-sufficient. They huddle under blankets in the living room while I read to them. They drift off to sleep on and off during the day and they don’t cry. Now they sleep fitfully on my floor and I listen to them breathe and cough and I enjoy our togetherness in spite of the circumstances.

Comments

ValleyGirl said…
Oh man, I MUST remember to read this post the next time my girls are sick! I find that joy as a homemaker is a somewhat elusive concept at the best of times, but when the kids are sick... Ugh.

I am working on my attitude though. I don't know that I'll ever be as good at seeing the joy in all circumstances as you (and some others) are, but with a bit of practice, it should get easier! (Right?!)
Living Beyond said…
Oh I'm so sorry to hear this but you sound like a wonderful Mom! Hope your family get well soon.
Shelley
Praying for your sick ones and asking God to keep you well!

It's so cool how they are helping one another. True servant hearts.

Blessings!
steph.
Sorry to hear about the sickies! I hope good health returns to your home before Christmas!
Janelle said…
Isn't it funny how that can be the best of times. All of you together. I bet you wouldn't miss it for the world.

Hope all are well soon!
Aw-lifting a prayer for you all. I am so glad you have not gotten sick! That is a true blessing. The gift of health is a huge blessing. I love this post. Being thankful in all circumstances. Just enjoying the togetherness.
Love ya!
Ang
Mary@notbefore7 said…
Hope you all get well soon. I loved this post as it is a reminder to me in the midst of our sick season that the comforting of sick babies will end. Right now it certainly is overwhelming me.
Alana said…
So sorry everyone is sick. Isn't it funny how it seems the Mom never gets sick? I hope you do stay healthy and that everyone is well in your household again soon!
Hope everyone is better soon and that you stay healthy! I love how you are able to see the blessings in the midst of it all.
Heather C said…
((((((((((Kate))))))))))))) You're a great mom. :)

Heather
Jonalie said…
I have a friend who had the same thing happen to her a few years ago, all five kids laid out in sleeping bags on the living room floor. Except the mom had to keep helping them all night to get to the bathroom on time (their stomachs were upset). The next morning one of the mom's friends showed up at the door with a present and a cheery "Happy Birthday!" My friend groggily replied, "It's been canceled!"
God bless you as you keep on going - I remember those days, and it's a privilege to minister to them, isn't it? (even though sometimes hard)
Kate said…
Hope all is well.
Merry Christmas
i hope the kids are better by now...

i know it sounds terrible, but i love how tender and needy my kids are when they are sick. it makes me feel so much like they still need me as they grown and spread their wings..:)

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas

Lisa
Jennifer said…
When I first read this I didn't notice the date and I thought, "Poor Kate, they were sick over Christmas Day!" Whew, relief. I'm just weeks behind.

Hopefully you were all well and happy for Christmas Day. I'm with you in that Golden Age of Parenting. When I'm sick, I just lock the door and hibernate. When I remember the "olden days," it makes me thankful for the passing of years, at least in some ways.

A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!
Jen
Happy New Year Kate.
Miss you! HOpe your new year is great.
Much love friend,
ANgela
Alyson said…
miss your posts...come back soon
Just checking in; I miss your posts and hope you all are doing well.
Elise said…
I'm sending hugs and prayers your way, that all is well and the household is healthy. I know you are probably just digging in deep and enjoying your time with them! :)
Alana said…
Just wondering about you. Hope all is well.

Popular posts from this blog

Spelling Wisdom

One day while skipping around the internet, I came across these:




And when I clicked on the sample, I knew we had to change spelling curriculums. Again. Goodbye Spelling Power and MacMillan and Sequential Spelling! We've found our true love.

The problem with the afore mentioned curricula is sheer boredom. Memorizing lists of words is mind numbing and as my children don't like their school work to lull them to sleep, they often push spelling to the side in favor of more exciting lessons.

When I found Spelling Wisdom, I realized what has been missing: an idea, something to engage the mind so that learning the difference between than and then occurs almost incidentally.

Sandra Shaffer uses the writings of famous men and women (Helen Keller, Beethoven, Winston Churchill...), Bible passages and quotes from quality literature...poems and novels (Robinson Crusoe, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, All the World's a Stage...) to teach more than six thousand frequently used word…

Rain

My sister-in-law lugs a heavy bucket of water around her herb garden, gives each plant a long sip. "It's been three weeks since we've had rain," she sighs looking out over the dusty vegetable garden and the shriveled brown grass in the pasture beyond. We help my brother pick beans and pull the weeds around them. The dry ground pulls back and some of the weeds snap off above the roots. We give up in the strawberry plants, sit on the porch, listen to the dogs pant.

We travel home in an air conditioned bubble. The whole length of the Shenandoah valley is crispy brown, the corn stunted. We pull into our Amish county driveway, greener here but the grass is short and the air hot. We breathe shallow breaths, unpack, crank the air conditioning. No rain in the forecast, three weeks and counting.

Saturday there will be a wedding, an outdoor wedding, and finally rain threatens. Stuart is on the phone with the bride. "Pray that the rain holds off," she says. Saturday w…

Until Death...

Kindred spirits, Anne would call them.  Two who complete each other, two who are better...best together,  soul mates one cannot imagine apart.  I can count the kindred marriages I know on a couple of fingers and after last week, that count is down by one.

"You look so happy," Dave says as Stuart and I stand awkward and wordless before him.  I bend down to wrap my arms around him and wonder, Where is the good in this?  Where? A week before we bumped into Dave and his wife, Deb, down at the Famous Brands.  Deb glowed with good health and good news and for the remainder of the day we basked in the unexpected good fortune of meeting these old friends.  And now there is Dave minus Deb.  How can this be?
"It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live."  Mark Twain's Own Autobiography
"You look so happy." We do not look happy but somehow this remark makes sense because Dave has loved with …