It is now officially “Week Three” of the “Snapp Great Influenza Plague of 2010.”
I’m not kidding.
We still have the stomach flu. After three weeks.
Our first victim was Sawyer. Next, Solomon and Susannah went down. This week, it’s Sawyer again and me. Yes. Me. And yes, poor Sawyer has had it twice. He’s the trooper in our clan.
It’s been nothing but fun at our house these days – even the neighbors don full-protective gear when walking outside on the sidewalk in front of our dwelling. And I completely don’t blame them.
It’s the most vicious strand of the flu I have experienced in my career as a mother to date. It wreaks havoc in all areas and just lingers with fun side effects like a high fever and others I won’t mention here. Use your imagination.
So far we are down a chair (a special thanks to our friends at Magna-Dry for coming to pick up our chair and deep-cleaning it for us) and after this evening, our couch could be as well.
Did I mention that I also have it? Yes? Just checking.
After baths this evening, I was looking forward to sitting myself on the couch for some much-needed snuggle time with my three little people. As I was helping Solomon brush his teeth, Sawyer ran to tell me that he had “bomitted” downstairs on the carpet.
He was crying so I made a mental note to not freak-out and began the process of cleaning him up. I think Solomon might have finished brushing his teeth on his own. I don’t know.
Susannah was still incessantly talking about the fact that I would not allow her to eat another package of Smarties for dessert – even after I had taken away the first one because she was being ungrateful. Yes, as I was cleaning vomit off of her brother. I made a mental note that we needed to re-teach the gratitude lesson.
When we went downstairs, I saw that Sawyer had indeed hit the carpet. And the couch.
While barking orders to go nowhere near the vomit (“No, mommy. It’s bomit,” Sawyer exclaimed. Whatever.), I began the clean-up process.
Did I mention that I also have the stomach flu? Yes? Just checking.
I started with the floor and began to have a pity party for my late-working-husband-sick-mother-with-sick-children-self. It was spiritual attack. The world was suddenly against me.
I took the couch cushions outside and began to scrub and became even grouchier. What did I do to anyone? Who did I tick-off? Why do I deserve this?
And then it came to me.
Cry me a river. Last week, I was talking about peace like a river. This week, it’s cry me a river.
Because I was suddenly struck by the thought of a woman from our community who passed away last winter after a long battle with breast cancer. She left behind a young family and a devoted husband. My second biggest fear.
I still have the opportunity to serve my family. I am still here.
We are simply blessed enough to only be dealing with the stomach flu. Not cancer. Not MS. Not Malaria. Not AIDS.
I’m guessing if one of those patients had the choice between cleaning up their child’s vomit and waging the war they are waging, they would gladly hang up their armor and put on a pair of gloves.
My family is my ministry. In sickness and in health, I take them. I choose to serve them because I love them more than I ever thought it was possible to love anything or anyone at all. They are better than myself.
I’m willingly serving them in love and while I still may not be overjoyed when I have to clean-up vomit or poo from the carpet, at least I know that I can. And while I know that I can’t possibly fathom the greatness on what is on the other side, I consider it an honor and a privilege to be here now, serving them and loving them so they will in turn someday be able to do the same for their children.
Serving and loving is a generational cycle. One that I hope will never end.