This week has been a twisty-turny one. We were never quite sure what was going to be around the next bend. Often the bend brought another feverish brow and another request for apple juice. With a straw.
They call me "Mother" when they're sick. It's sweet.
I timed the distribution of antibiotics, fluffed pillows, read stories, stirred soup and took temperatures. (I still have this impulse to shake down the mercury. Isn't that funny?)
All the while the kids looked anxiously at the calendar. They had costumes all ready, and Grandpa and Grandma were coming for a visit.
They worked on puzzles, watched videos and called me "Mother" some more.
Wednesday arrived, and so did Grandpa and Grandma. All the way from Alaska. Thankfully the fevers were down and we enjoyed sharing and visiting and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the beautiful pictures they brought from a breathtaking part of our country.
While the soup simmered on the stove and the grown-ups visited, the kids whisked themselves away to change into their evening attire.
At the last minute, my boy's fever spiked unexpectedly after having been normal all day. We bade the others farewell, and he and I shared some precious time together (frequently interrupted by the doorbell, of course).
I had a funny memory, being in this house and having sick kids. I remember the comfort of resting on the couch in this very family room, especially when the rhythm of home continued around me. I could hear my mom washing dishes in the kitchen or watch her walk by with a basket of laundry and it somehow made me feel better.
One time when I was eight or nine, resting feverishly on the couch, she walked by with the laundry basket on her head. I giggled, and she quickly came to me, feigned confusion, and said, "Are you okay?" I said something about the basket, and she put her hand on my forehead. "I don't know what you're talking about. You must be hallucinating, you poor dear!" And off she walked. With the big wicker basket on her head.
Tonight Aidan claimed to see The Cat in the Hat in our family room as he rested on the couch. I felt his brow, shook my head and sighed, "You poor dear. You must be hallucinating."
When he slipped under his covers tonight, he told me that he had a pretty fun evening, after all.