Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Power of a Nurturer

I'd been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. The anticipation was high, the discussion of what to do, where to go was frequent and in an effort to help each other out, Andrew and I both made it our business to find the baby sitter. We unknowingly had two young ladies scheduled to come over and watch our kids. Apologetically, we contacted one of them to let them know their services wouldn't be needed after all.

This was the weekend that we'd celebrate our five years of marriage (august 17). We don't splurge on ourselves often, but we felt that we definitely owed it to ourselves to go out on a date. Ask my Mom. I was really, really excited about it. And then, life happened.

I got sick. Like... way sick. For the last four days I've been battling fever, aches, chills and an incessant cough. My innards ache each time I cough. Sleep has been difficult to come by. But despite the physical ailments, it's the fact that my full-time job doesn't offer or provide "sick days" that stresses me out the most. The task of making Oatmeal for my kids in the morning seems daunting.

Telling myself that calling Andrew home is my last ditch effort, I know I can make it on my own until nap time. After nap time passes, a few hours remain until he pulls in the drive way. He might as well work the full day.

I've put off a trip to the Doctors. My thought process is as follows: "Tomorrow I will feel better" or that I'd prefer to see the money I'd spend on a co-pay stay put in our bank account. If it was one of the kids who were sick, absolutely, we'd be at the Doctors; but Mom can tough it out.

Speaking of a "Mom" - I really missed mine this week. Wednesday evening, I gave into a surge of pity as I crawled into bed. Wishing I had the option of calling family to come bail out my kids for the day, I lamented the distance between us. I wanted to see for myself the look of concern on her face and feel the touch of her chin as she lovingly places it on my forehead to see if I'm fevered. Memories of her coming downstairs with a refill of cherry 7-up, her small hand rubbing my aching back and her unfailing knowledge of when I can take my next dose of medicine, filled me.

I was taught how to nurture by the most supreme source. At 25, I long for that source of comfort during difficult days. Grateful for the regular phone calls to check on me, I know that I can fully express my complaints and fears without being judged. I can count on encouraging words and sound advice. When writing openly and publicly, I feel limited at times because I know of several individuals who are dealing with difficulties that I can not fathom. But that supreme nurturer who knows and loves me validates that it's okay to feel frustrated, concerned and fed-up. It's okay to label this moment as being, "hard."

In thinking of what it means to nurture, I've mentally been making a list as I've felt the Lord send tender mercy's my way these last few days. The greatest came in the form of a loving three year old little girl.

Finding me in my room, curled up and on the verge of tears, Eliza climbs into my bed.

"Mom, I am here to sing you a song. It will make you happy." She then proceeds to sing me the ABC's. Telling me that she "loves me so much" and that I have "pretty lips" she pulls my covers up to my chin, strokes my cheek and asks for a hug.

"Goodnight" she says as she closes my bedroom door. "Sweet dreams!" It's 5:00 pm. A few minutes later she returns to my room. With excitement she brings me a doll and a Thomas the train whistle. Without saying a word, she gently tucks them in with me. As she again, expresses her concern and love for me, I silently offer a prayer of gratitude. She has shown a tremendous out pouring of love these last few days. Her ability to nurture is innate.

Waking up to Henry's sweet call for his, "Mama," momentarily takes me away from my grief as I open his door. His smile... oh man, you'd think that right there could cure anything.

Andrew's been great to take the kids out each night for some fresh air. Trips to the park and stops at the store (forget the two week rule!) to pick up cough drops, etc have been regular. Right now, he is with Eliza at a birthday party. Laughing as he left, he felt a little awkward as he imagined that he'd be the only Dad parent there. He was still happy to take her.

Four days into this illness, I've concluded that it's about time we sacrifice our date night money so that I can go and see a Doctor. Maybe I'll do that this afternoon. I've done my best to tough it out, but if there's an anti-biotic that can speed up the recovery process, let me at it!!

Again, I realize that I'm not the only Mom who gets sick. This illness isn't chronic. My kids, so far, have been okay. I have friends who offer to watch my kids. I have a cute mother in law who likewise wishes she could be her to lend a hand. I have a husband willing to pick up my slack and be Mr. Mom for the weekend and I have access to a phone that connects me to my Mom. I have a lot of reasons to be thankful. Speaking of things to be grateful for:

Eliza and her binki have called it quits!! Not a single tear was shed. It's a miracle and Andrew was the miracle worker. That story to come later.

**AN ADDENDUM: Does anyone have any recommendations for a cough suppressant? After making a sticky discovery in my hair this morning, I've concluded that falling asleep with a cough drop in your mouth isn't the safest of ideas. Thanks.


Samye said...

Being sick WITH two kids is no fun. AT ALL! !Sorry you have to deal with this least it is the weekend? I say go to the Dr. Tell him you NEED drugs and to put some cough syrup on that list too. Hope you get feeling better...

The Tate Family said...

Gees! I totally relate! I am so sorry that you aren't close to family...those are the times when you especially realize the distance! I hope you get feeling better!

*Jess* said...

Feel better soon, Ali! And please let me know if I can do anything to help. I'll be back in town Monday night.

Audra said...

Your posts always make me cry! Eliza is so sweet! Just like her mama. I hope you found a cure and are getting better.

Ami said...

Oh yes...Cherry 7-Up! We're lucky to have nurturing daughters, but I agree- it's just not the same as having Mom around when we're sick! I hope you're feeling better!

B-dizzle said...

happy anniversary. so sorry you are sick. the lesson this week in Relief Society was on Relief Society. Get them to help you. Get them to cook for you. I would love to get a call and ask for help. Hope you feel better. Our prayers are with you.

Michelle said...

This week was lonely without you. Nate, Colby, Talon, his imaginary friend "Molly", and I miss you guys. I wish you would let us help you! I hope you feel better soon.

Catherine said...

Yes, you SHOULD let Michelle help, Ali! She could take your kids in the morning, and then by the time you pick them up, it would be naptime, and you can rest even more. You just need that when you're sick, and isn't that what friends are for? :) I don't know why it's hard for us moms to accept help. We serve and give and sacrifice for our little ones, our husband, and the lady down the street. We just need to learn to allow others to take care of us, too. I hope you feel better soon, friend!

Keersten said...

Sorry you've been miserable. I love nyquil. (Ah, it works, almost as well as that blessed codine cough syrup.) Eliza is so sweet, don't you just love those little moments? It makes all the difference!