Of course I would never wish for a child of mine to be sick, but one silver lining that I have noticed on the cloud of illness that periodically descends on our home is the extra measure of tenderness present between the child who is not feeling well and others in the family. For example, when Jeff comes home from work and greets a sick child, he does so with such gentleness; it's obvious, just from his tone of voice, how concerned he is about the child and how much love he feels for him or her.
Last Thursday night, when Shav started vomiting, I admit that my first thought was, "Oh no! Not HIM!" Of all our children, Shav is the one most challenging in the night and always has been--from the first two years of his life when he rarely slept through the night and frequently woke up with night terrors, until now when he still is incredibly difficult to wake in the night if he is having a bad dream or some pain or anything like that. He seems to get into this state of semi-consciousness in which he appears awake, but isn't really; and when that happens, he's pretty much completely unreasonable. ;-) I added a smiley face; but trust me when I say that I don't always feel like smiling when dealing with an unreasonable Shav in the middle of the night!
However, even before I had gotten the mess cleaned up from Shav's stomach troubles on Thursday night, my heart had begun to soften towards him; and by the time he was cleaned up (Jeff woke up and helped Shav take a bath--a true gift of love for me) and settled on the couch (which I had prepared by covering it with a plastic tablecloth and then other cloths on top of that), I was practically melting in my love for him. "God really knew what He was doing when He created maternal instincts," I thought with a grin. "They sure are powerful!"
Maybe it's because it reminds me of the days when my kids were babies and were so dependent on me for everything; but for whatever reason, when a sick child of mine lies suffering, it is not as great of a sacrifice to care for that child as one might imagine.
This afternoon Shav had another difficult spell of coughing which led to repeated vomiting, but being able to stay close to him and care for him made the afternoon precious to me--especially because of the sweet snippets of conversation we had. At one point, he said, with the most soulful eyes, "I need a hug." How delightful to take his small body in my arms and fulfill his request!
A little later, he remarked, "Mom, I can't wait until we get to heaven." I always find it interesting when my children talk about heaven, but having him say that while being pretty sick made my heart seize up a little. Nevertheless, I tried to keep a casual tone as I answered, "Yeah? What are you most looking forward to about heaven?" He gave a small shrug, then said, "There's so many things..." as his voice trailed off.
As he continued to be wracked by coughing and vomiting, he asked, "Mom, do you think I'll have to go to the hospital?" I assured him that I did not, and then he suggested that maybe Grandpa could come up and check him. :) I thought that was a great idea; and sure enough, Grandpa very willingly came and made a house call on his youngest grandson (and then helped out by chauffeuring the other boys to their SVCC rehearsals, a HUGE help for me!). :)
Shav's symptoms eventually eased, and he was able to get some peaceful sleep. He benefited even more when Jeff got home from work and mixed up a concoction of "a little bit of this, a little bit of that" of nearly everything in the kitchen, I think! ;-) Jeff had researched and discovered that certain ingredients help to calm a bad cough, and his mixture did seem to work for Shav. The night has, so far, gone better than last night, and I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be better than today.
But in any case, I'm looking forward to having more moments of sweet kindness and warm affection with my little lovebug Shav. :)
~ Shav, 5 years ago...March 2010 ~