31 Days of Simple Change {day 29} Today I am Thankful

31 Days of Simple Change

Today is not what I would call a good day.  Granted, as I write this it’s not even lunchtime yet…so things could turn around.  But as of right now, it’s not looking good.  It actually all started yesterday when B came home from school and said she wanted to lie down in her bed.  She promptly fell asleep and slept for the next hour.  When I woke her up for dinner, her nose was running and she said she wasn’t hungry.  I felt her forehead and immediately knew she had a fever.  The thermometer confirmed it…101.5.  She skipped dinner, fell back asleep, and slept until 5:30am when she promptly crawled into bed next to me.  I could feel the heat radiating off her body, confirming that the fever was still there. She dozed off and on, waking up long enough to fuss about not feeling well.  I was unable to fall back asleep, and so I laid awake next to her until 7am, when I got up to get the other two kids ready for school.  The next hour was a whirlwind of activity…packing lunches, searching for lost shoes, getting breakfasts, all the usual craziness.   I thought B might be feeling a little bit better when she asked for an apple “cut up with no skin” but when I handed her the bowl of apple pieces, she took two bites and decided she didn’t want it anymore.  And then I realized that there was no time for a first cup of coffee since it was already time to get to school.

Rather than drag B to the bus stop, I put all 3 kids in the car (after arguing with D about wearing a coat because, for some reason, the boy is always cold but never wants to wear a coat to school!) and we began the incredibly short (under 5 minutes!) drive to school.  And then, as we are sitting in a long line of cars waiting to turn into the school parking lot, B suddenly starts throwing up.  Not just once, but multiple times.  Considering she hadn’t eaten anything (except for those two bites of apple) since lunchtime yesterday, I can’t even imagine how she managed to throw up at least 3 times.  She’s crying, throw-up all over her clothes and face, while the other two kids are yelling, “B just threw up!  She threw up!  Open all the windows!  Eww, it smells in here!”  As those two are screaming, B begins sneezing.  Now big globs of snot are running out of her nose and down her face.  I’m digging around in my purse, searching for tissues, napkins, an old receipt…anything to give to B so she can catch the snot running our of her nose.  Meanwhile, the cars in front of us HAVE NOT MOVED!  Not an inch.  I’ve cracked a window to get some fresh air into the car, but since it’s only 35 degrees outside, the car is now freezing.  And as we wait for the cars to move, here is a brief synopsis of  what is happening inside our car:

D – “Just let us out here!  We’ll walk the rest of the way!”

Me- “D, I can’t do that.  Look at all these cars.  It’s not safe!”

M, prattling in the third row of seats- “Maybe B feels better now.  Do you feel better now B?  Because Mom could drive us back home to get your backpack and you could come to school.  Right Mom, couldn’t she come to school?”

Me- “No, B is sick.  She can’t go to school.  WHY AREN’T THESE CARS MOVING!!”

D- “I hope B didn’t get puke on my backpack…B, did you puke on my backpack?”

B- “No, but there’s some on my pants.  Hey Mom, I didn’t get any on my jacket!  That’s good, right Mom?”

Finally, the car line is moving.  We get in front of the school and I hurry the other two kids out of the car, urging them NOT to step in the mess on the carpet.

When B and I finally get home, I assess the situation.  Her pants, socks, the car seat, and the car carpet are all a mess.  But she’s right, her jacket somehow managed to stay completely clean.  I get her out of her clothes and into the bath, then out of the bath and into bed.  Still no coffee because I’m outside scrubbing tiny bits of apple out of the carpet.  I’m feeling frustrated, I’m feeling tired, but most of all, I’m feeling thankful.  Yes, that’s right…thankful.   And here’s why…

In the last week, I’ve heard about two different thirty-something mothers (both were friends of friends) who died unexpectedly, leaving young children behind.  I didn’t know either of those mothers personally, but hearing their stories still broke my heart.  Both mothers died unexpectedly, both left behind children who are the same ages as my kids or younger.  Life is short…and for those two mothers and scores of other people, life is much too short.    And so, as I was scrubbing bits of apple out of the carpet, I said a quick prayer of thanks.  Today, I am thankful that I get to take care of my sick daughter, even if it’s messy and the smell makes me want to gag.  Today, I am thankful that I can hear the voices of my three beautiful children, even if it means they are arguing with me or fighting with each other.  Today, I am thankful that I am here on this earth so that I can hug my children, my husband, my family, and my friends.  Today, I am thankful…what about you?

Throughout the month of October, I’ll be sharing some ideas for simple changes you can make to improve your life.  Did you miss a day?  Visit the 31 Days Welcome page for links to each day.