There's nothing fun about being sick. As I lay on the couch trying to ignore the aches but failing miserably, Bethie came skipping up to my side. Her face was lifted just a bit hopefully as she asked, "Mommy? Is this the kind of sickness you get when you have a baby in your tummy?" I smiled. "No, sweetie. This is just plain old yucky sick," I answered. "Oh," she said. "Because I was hoping it was a baby. I could help you change it's diaper, and hold it . . . ." her voice trailed off, dreamlike, as she pirouetted before me. And she skipped merrily away after asking if I needed anything.
I thought about sickness and baby sickness. At least with a baby, it's all worth it in the end. There's a goal, something -- someone -- that reminds you of why it's okay to feel miserable. But with just plain old yucky sick, where is the good?
Surprisingly, the good is there. I just have to know where to find it. The good is in the daughter who offers to read to her mama while she rests. The good is in the four-year-old who says, "Mama? Do you want to play Uno with me?" and proceeds to painstakingly shuffle the huge deck and lay seven cards on mama's blanketed lap. The good is in the son who helps his little sister build a train track when mama can't. And the good is in the young, wiggly son who runs errands, delivering water and ibuprofen.
The good is in my own mama who makes a steaming pot of chicken noodle soup, and my father who peeks into my room to make sure I'm okay. And the good is in my husband who keeps the hot water bottle coming and tends to the children, even though he, too, has just been sick.
Although I would never choose to be sick, I do choose to find the good. Which just about makes it worthwhile, after all.