The other night, after having me pooh-pooh yet another family Halloween movie suggestion (due to frightening things in the reviews such as “mildly scary-looking creatures”), Mike threw up his hands and asked if we ought to just watch “Fluffy Bunny Fluffs Around”. Hahahah. That does sound more up my alley. . . . (And one mustn’t be too hard on me. Penny recently had a bit of a worrisome time going to sleep after having watched a Thomas the Train Halloween special. So . . . )
Monday night, between a measly two children, we endured 18 bouts of throwing up. 18! I don’t even know quite how such a thing was possible. Makeshift beds were strewn about our room and nearly every 20 – 30 minutes we were up again – holding bowls, rubbing backs, washing hands. Penny was so dearly apologetic that I felt guilty for showing my exhausted distress. And Anders. Well. I’m sure he would have been apologetic, if he hadn’t been rather busy moaning about it being “the worst day of his life” and all (which, to be fair, it very well may have been – afterall, he’s only five . . . and that was a lot of throwing up). But we all seem well enough again. And besides, it might have been three children and 27 bouts of throw up. Or eight children, two adults and (let me do some math here) . . . 90 bouts? Oh goodness. That’s a ghastly thought!
I’ve always been touched by the story in the New Testament (Matthew 14 and Mark 6) where Jesus heads off to a lone place in hopes of finding a little solitude after just having heard of his cousin John’s beheading. I’m sure he would have liked a little time to mourn and process and pray. But the mulititudes desperately followed him, and, in seeing their shepherdless state, he had compassion on them and so, forgoing his own private time, he taught them and even fed them.
Today I read a blog friend’s comments on this event. She compared it to motherhood and talked about how often we might want/need a little time to ourselves to grieve or think or regenerate, but how, very often, we simply must continue on with caring for our families – through sickness and sorrow and frustration and exhaustion. She talked about how we are being like Christ in this – we are continuing to serve even when it feels hard and inconvenient.
I loved her thoughts so much! In fact, just the other day I escaped to the bathroom for a quick cry. I was feeling worried about one of my children and overwhelmed about several things, but that tiny moment of crying in the bathroom was all I could afford before needing to wipe my eyes, square my shoulders, and get back to making dinner, helping with homework, and picking up kids from activities. I’ve typically seen no glory or great selflessness in things like that. I’ve probably only felt a little self-pitying, but reading her blog post today made me feel . . . I don’t know . . . more noble I guess, like Heavenly Father is proud of me when I press on with the demands of being a mother and serve my family – even when I don’t feel up to the challenge and even when I’d prefer to just have a good cry. I felt like, in doing this, I’m being more like my Savior.
Lastly, I need to follow Abe around more often when he is completely preoccupied with other things. It is nearly impossible to get a picture of that kid these days, but I got several perfectly lovely ones while picking him up from bike practice and watching his race last week! Handsome boy. He ought to be eager to appear in more photos.
And a few other folks at the race: