Anna came home from school yesterday with a fever of 101.9. She rarely, rarely gets sick, as soon as she got off the bus I could tell she was miserable.
“Why didn’t you go to the nurse?“ I asked.
With a look of pure exhaustion on her face, she looked up at me and shrugged. She sat down at the kitchen table to do her homework, I brought her some Tylenol, she finished one page of her homework and I said “you know, you can lay down, you won’t be going to school tomorrow.“ Without a word, she got up and laid on the couch.
I brought her a box of tissues, her favorite pink blankets, a pillow and water, I sat with her and watched her close her eyes for ten seconds at a time and I often became so emotional, literally, doing what I could to hold back the tears. I hated seeing my sweet girl sick.
As I sat with her, laid with her and cared for her throughout the night, I thought about how grateful I am for her health and for Noah’s health. I’ve seen and heard of so many parents who struggle with a child’s illness that is so much bigger than a sore throat and a fever, illnesses that last for months and years…
So, I’m grateful, now more than ever for their health, grateful for this opportunity to keep my child home from school, sit with her, read books to her, sleep with her; moments to slow down.
Being sick isn’t fun, but sometimes, especially for the parents, it gives us a moment to pause and praise and revel in the gifts that surround us. Which can be very, very sweet.