When it comes to sleeping habits, it's been my rule for a long time to simply take the shortest route to the most sleep. Whether that means everyone sleeping together or letting them share a bed for a night or whatever - just sleeeeeep (please, please sleep).
So, last night I camped out in the living room on the pull-out bed and had a slumber party with my girls. We stayed up late watching Little House on the Prairie, and while we threw ideals out the window, we embraced each other and made due.
So, here we are, snuggled up on our make-shift-hotel-like-recovery-room-couch-bed watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and eating Cheez-its and cereal bars for breakfast. Some days just have to be like this. Some days, fever trumps all other to-dos and productivity is reduced to what-time-she-last-took-Tylenol and where-in-the-world-is-the-remote-to-the-DVD-player.
And I'm so grateful for these days. Certainly I hate to see my baby sick to any degree, but a case of the sniffles is in itself a good reminder that our health is taken for granted far too often. I'm so glad I live a non-traditional life/schedule that allows me to stay home when I need to, to be able to feel this degree of neediness in this season of my life, and to engage with my girls when the best medicine is a hug and an episode of literally-anything-animated.
Oh, Lord, help me to cherish the sweetness of these times when the answers seem so simple.
This season is not for the faint of heart. The incessant talking, the whining, the development of me-ness and manners and manic emotions can get so overwhelming as a parent that I find myself praying aloud multiple times a day just to get through. It's exhausting, and the lack of sleep through this time in my life only adds insult to injury.
But, this season is so full of little gifts, and I'm determined to pluck them out of the mania and wring them dry of their beauty along the way. When my little girls just want a hug, when they yell for me to comfort them, when they snuggle up (or even knee me in the ribs climbing onto my lap) I'm trying my best to soak it up, take it in, and cherish these moments that will so quickly turn complicated in the future. My singing them to sleep or praying over their "ouchies" won't last forever, even when the reality of the day-to-day feels like the drama-of-the-moment is never ending.
The day will come when they will have more ouchies on the inside than the outside, when it will be harder for me to interpret what they need and what will help them, when I won't know the answer or be the answer to their hardest questions. That season will have it's own gifts, along with the impending challenges that I'm not yet ready for. (Some of which honestly scare the holy-guacamole out of me! i.e. boys, love, puberty, mean girls at school...)
Thinking of that future season settles my mind in the present. I know God is working on me right now to become the mother they need when that time comes...but, in the meantime, I'm thrilled to kiss feverish foreheads, watch cartoons, and snuggle my whiny tots while the rest of my world is on pause for the day.
Sometimes a sick day brings the healthiest perspective.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1