This has been a most interesting week. My husband has been miserably sick, on a level of misery I've only seen him in a handful of times in the nearly 15 years we've been married. After two days practically flat on his back, he was able to go to back to work today, which was a very good thing. Work has been incredibly busy and stressful for him lately, and two days out sick were definitely not in the plans.
And then...last night I hurt my foot. It's the dumbest thing ever: yanked out of sleep by a furious yell from the baby's bedroom, I hit the floor running, not realizing that my right foot was completely, totally asleep. At least I didn't realize it until I found myself on my bedroom flour on all fours, crying out in pain. My dear, sleep-deprived husband picked up the baby and held him until I could get myself to the rocking chair, then fetched an ice pack after I limped back into bed. Even then I knew - this was bad.
Not bad like the incident last December was bad. Not quite. I hurt, but it was "only" my foot. It's bruised and swollen, and it hurts like the dickens to put pressure on it. But I can hobble a bit. (Perhaps we should invest in a cane if these kinds of things keep happening?!) Yet this time I had a baby to take care of. So in terms of functionality - bad. I found myself muttering to myself this morning: "Stupid, stupid, stupid. This is so, so stupid."
Although I entertained a few thoughts of calling in some help, I decided to try to get along with the help of my children - and I'm glad I did. As I sit on the couch this afternoon, surrounded by baby toys, burp cloths, paper diapers (I still love cloth, but cannot deal with them today!), schoolwork to grade, my Bible study workbook, and various other little projects gathered around me, I'm smiling as I think back over my day. Here are a few snapshots (in the form of word pictures) from it:
~Talking my oldest through the process of frying eggs for breakfast.
~My son's helping me finish making sourdough blueberry muffins - a hit.
~Catching Owen nuzzling noses with the kitty over by the fireplace.
~My daughter's utter delight in the commercials airing during the Today Show.
~Watching Gabriel perfect his newly-minted (just since yesterday!) rolling-over skills.
~Elise nursing her baby across the room while I nursed mine.
~My 4-year-old sniffing his brother, then wrinkling his nose: "Gabriel's hair smells like root beer!"
~The kids cheering for their picks during a wrestling match between our two cats at lunchtime.
~My older boys making truck and dinosaur-shaped sandwiches for them and their sibs.
~Elise disappearing during lunch (we thought she'd gone to the potty) and Ben discovering that she'd gone upstairs to change her clothes.
~Kyle helping our toddler use the potty.
~Calling my sons on the landline from my cell phone while they played together upstairs.
~Elise bringing me wooden food: a lemon ("Nummy!"), banana, cheese, tomato, butter in a red wrapper, and a slice of watermelon...perhaps because she's learning her colors?
~Hangin' with my girl while her big brothers built with Legos upstairs.
~My kids cheerfully telling their neighbor friends that they couldn't come out to play today, because "My mom's hurt and I need to stay here and help her."
Would it have been easier to have given an S.O.S. call? Hired a teenager to come spend a few hours here, change diapers, etc.? You bet. Would I have been able to stay off my foot more? Sure. But I wouldn't trade the gems I've been privileged to see today, not for anything.
You see, I like seeing my kids step up. I love to see them stretched, taking on responsibilities, giving more than they're used to giving. It makes me feel good to see how they can be depended on when the chips are down. I think that, in a way, they like it too. I see my oldest son stepping in, learning to give of himself, figuring out how to make this new system work.
Today was a challenge, but it was good. In many ways, it was actually just what I needed - a bit of rest, a break from school, a chance to see my kids coming into their own. And I think it may have been just what they needed, too.