Last week, Luke left for a six day business trip. I spent one, fun-filled day with the kiddos – my spirits were high – I felt encouragement from friends and family – I was doing GOOD.
Then the next morning came. Whimpers of “mama” from my two year old’s bedroom and the cry that her tummy hurt. I scooped her up and brought to bed with me, expecting we’d both just fall back asleep until her brother woke us up.
But then she said, “It really hurts,” in a voice that was unfamiliar and impossible for me to ignore. We both sat up.
And that was the beginning of Puke Fest 2015. I grabbed a Pyrex dish from under the kitchen island (p.s. throwing THAT away) and she tried really hard to aim into it, but most ended up on me, her, her blankets and just about everything that wasn't the Pyrex dish.
Without going into all the details, let’s just say it wasn't pretty. The girl was miserable. Caleb confusedly followed us around with the Pyrex dish as we trudged through the cycle of changing clothes, cleaning up messes, sipping Fresca and eating crackers. Puke, then repeat.
We prayed and I think it reassured her and I KNOW it reassured me. Daddy called many times and, as much as I felt bad for myself, I felt bad from him also. He’s always on the front lines with the kiddos and I know he felt the sadness and guilt that she was so miserable and that he wasn't there to help. And we had four days ahead.
I thought, if this HAD to happen, why couldn't it have happened a week before when I had Luke here? Or a week when I didn't have big meetings and deadlines at work?! And if she HAD to be sick, why not the usual fever that goes down with Tylenol and gives way to all day snuggles? Why this violent tummy bug that she NEVER gets?
I thought of how Murphy’s Law – anything that could go wrong, will go wrong – couldn't have applied more.
I called in for back up and my sister dropped everything to pick Caleb up and get him out of there. The rest of the day, Kenzie hung on me like an orangutan as I unsuccessfully attempted to do laundry and disinfect and shower. After awhile I gave up. Our clothes were going to smell, the house was going to smell, we were going to smell. I laid on the couch with Kenzie right on top on me. Her favorite movie, Mr. Peabody, played in the background (it’s about a dog who adopts a boy and they travel through time – riveting). I stared out of the window at the annoyingly sunny backyard and thought about how I had an out of town work meeting the next day and projects due on Wednesday and whether I should take Kenzie to the walk in clinic or wait to see if she improves and WHY this was all happening this day of ALL days on this week of ALL weeks to little, incompetent me of ALL people.
Caleb spent that night at Bina Aunty's while Kenzie and I snuggled together in bed, Pyrex bowl by our side, both exhausted for different reasons, but exhausted just the same.
And then the next morning came.
I was able to get out of my work meeting to stay home with Kenzie and I was happy to see no signs of her sickness from the past day. Her appetite was back and so was her smile and silliness. We spent the entire day playing babies, coloring pictures and fluttering around in our butterfly wings pretending we could fly. We cured our cabin fever by venturing out and enjoying the crisp, sunshiny day. I took a conference call during nap time, then typed away on my laptop in my bedroom - making a considerable dent in my work project for Wednesday – while Kenzie quietly played with her paints on the floor.
While Sunday felt like Murphy’s Law had struck again, Monday brought with it the perspective that it’s never really ALL bad or ALL wrong. Through the cracks and crevices of a bleak day, light always finds a way to peek out. Light in the form of a patient, compassionate kid holding out a Pyrex dish for his sister. Of a tired little girl resting in my arms, telling me that I'm all she needs. Of a sister and aunt who doesn't hesitate when we’re in need. Of a husband's loving phone calls that calm both of his girls and make hard moments feel better. Of a boss that would understand and of work that could wait. Of sweet snuggles and uninterrupted time.Of bouncy curls and butterfly wings. Of watching a movie about a dog in a time machine all the way through for the first time ever and realizing it’s actually not that dumb. Of family bringing over Indian food for dinner and sitting around table with me. Of words and actions pouring out of people's hearts and filling mine. Of conversations with God that may never have happened otherwise. Of a sun that still shines even when I stubbornly shut the blinds. Of knowing that “little, incompetent” me doesn't exist because of mighty, powerful Him.
Because of it all, I know. Murphy’s Law is kind of a lie. Everything that COULD go wrong will never ALL go wrong. There will always, always be something right.