A Helpless Letter to My Sick Kids

Kids,

As your mama, I’ve been extremely lucky that you’re almost unfailingly healthy. In every manner of the word, you kids have been healthy, never catching colds or stomach bugs, and tirelessly playing and eating like horses. But all at once, I was faced with a situation I hadn’t encountered: not one, but both of you sick at the same time.

At the point when I realized one of you had a cold and the other had a cold plus an upset stomach, I was stumped. I mean, yes, I was concerned with your symptoms and how to treat them and what might be causing them. I was concerned with calling the doctor’s office and whether we had enough children’s Tylenol. I was concerned with the fact that Hubby had to leave to go to work and I was on my own to take care of you.

But more than anything else, I was acutely aware that I, your problem solver, day-saver, and magically-make-it-better hero couldn’t snap my fingers and fix your problem. I’m so accustomed to providing for your needs easily and quickly. Have a wet diaper? Boom! Here’s a fresh one! Hungry? Boom! Here’s a healthy snack! Fall and bump your elbow? Boom! Here’s a kiss, a snuggle and an ice pack! But this time- runny noses, coughs, fevers, one upset tummy, and what can I do? Make a phone call, administer Tylenol, and put a movie on. Oh, you aren’t feeling better yet? Well crap. What do I do now?!

There were copious amounts of snuggles, special allowances (ie: snoozing on the couch an hour before bedtime), stuffed animals and favorite blankets. Noses were wiped (and suctioned, poor little J), tears dried, temperatures taken one more time, and prayers said. I know it has to be hard when your vocabulary doesn’t allow for an explanation of how you feel or what you want/need. You’re inexplicably feeling yucky and Mama, who has always helped you out, hasn’t made you feel any better.

Well, Mama feels just as bad about that as you do, kids. Every tiny cough that didn’t wake you up woke me. Your sniffles kept me awake half the night with concern. Prayers for your fevers were said as I tossed and turned. When you guys woke up, groggy but smiling, at 6:30, I was tired but happy to see smiles under the snotty noses. Because truthfully, I love you. I’m always doing my best to make sure you feel your best and more comfortable. You’re mine and I’m yours, sick and sad or healthy and happy.

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