We’re continuing on our fourth week of waging war with a resiliently persistent virus that has sought refuge in our home and refuses to vacate. Nothing I am doing seems to win against its relentless fight to test our endurance and patience as a family. I am wearing thin and about to surrender myself to the virus with the hope that my admission of defeat will break us all free.
I woke up and had to take all three children to the doctor’s (again). I think we’ve spent more money in co-payments this month than we have in our electric bill. Everyone was miserable and mainly me. I think it’s just sick punishment to not only imprison children to perpetual sickness, but summons mothers to join them. So, there we were at the doctor’s office. All four of us crammed into this tiny room waiting for someone, anyone to help. I was desperate. I would have donated an organ, offered to clean houses; anything to help my defenseless children. Oh, and me.
There is nothing worse as a mother when you continually ask for help, but there isn’t any. There we were hearing the same medical conclusion I got weeks before and could have read on google. The conclusion was unfavorable to me and I walked away as I gathered all three of my sick children absolutely depleted. We gather into the car which takes nearly as much energy as it does to stay up until the wee hours of the night. Everyone is officially melting down and it’s only 11 a.m. Like most of us mothers do, I desperately tried to think of what could possibly make any one of us feel just a little bit better.
“Ice cream!” Genius, I thought. They may not nap afterwards, but it will at least ease their throats and our moods. So off we went. Or, so I thought.
I forgot my wallet.
My head collapsed into the steering wheel as I had to tell the kids that we couldn’t get ice cream after all. Now, they’re crying. I’m about to join them. We’re in the Stewart’s parking lot, miserable, sick and melting down (without the ice cream). What did I do? What any respectable, sane and desperate mother does. Gets on her hands and knees and begins to scrape every quarter and dime I could gather in our car. Get a visual on this one. I really did get on my hands & knees and even looked under the kids car seats where I remembered the times they would drop the coins I would give them to buy me some quiet time during a recent trip.
My prayers were answered. I scraped enough to buy two single cones. When I handed the kids their cones, they immediately grinned. I made sure they had their napkins and off we went. I needed the silence to recover a bit before the next round of crying, wiping noses, nebulizer treatments and bribery for naps started all over again. I almost made it home until we turned a corner and I heard, “Mommy, help.”
Silence is over-rated anyhow. “What?” I asked.
Isaiah and Autumn couldn’t stop giggling as their ice creams dripped from their noses. Apparently, as I turned the corner their ice creams bumped into one another and landed all over the place. They didn’t care one bit. I couldn’t help but laugh too. It was funny. The ice cream was everywhere. Their faces, their jackets, their cars seats and it even smeared the windows. None of us could stop laughing. The only one silent was Benny, but that is likely because the ice cream spared him.
That was my invitation folks.
In that moment, I needed to laugh. I believe they did too. I had to scrape for coins to get two cones that ended up everywhere except their mouths, but it provided exactly what it needed. The tension broke, we all found humor in the ridiculousness that has become our normal the past four weeks and mom survived the rest of the afternoon.
In love & truth,