This year, our family involuntarily gave up health and normalcy for the first half of Lent. I knew we had gone to the bad place when my precious little 15 month old signed "more" after his first dropper full of infant Tylenol. (He gets .4 plus .8, so you have to administer it twice.) When, after the second dropper full, he signed "finished,” the thought occurred to me that this routine had become all too familiar.

In an effort to make lemonade from the multiple lemons we’ve encountered called “viruses,” I floated the idea to God that it’d be great if all these “little” sicknesses were building my immunity to the point that after a few more months at this rate I should have been exposed to most of the “best” that Central Arkansas has to offer. Holding to the idea that what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger, I think I should be the strongest I’ve ever been very soon.

Now, I do realize that the above paragraph represents wishful, na├»ve thinking, and that I have not even hit the tip of the ice burg of childhood illnesses, rather we are just skimming past the small chunks of ice that lay miles and miles away from it, signaling that although you can’t yet see it, it’s looming in the distance. And for the most part, I’m okay with that. I knew it was part of the deal. I can handle most of the pestilence with grace--humidifiers, fussiness, Tylenol, fluids, and lazy days around the house in order to keep our germs to ourselves.
There is really just one pesky microbe that I do not take in stride. There is one that I dread like the plague. This is the gastrointestinal type. If there is a GI bug within 100 miles of my person, my immune system courts it, begging it to break down its measly defenses in order to come hang out at my house. And then the fun begins. I can honestly say that few things are as mentally trying to me as being nauseated. And there is nothing you can do about it. The virus will run its course. 

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that not everyone’s immune system invites these sorts of maladies. I have friends that have little to no recollection of ever throwing up. Wow. That’s all I can say.

I will spare you the details of the virus' successful attack, dismantling any and all attempts to be a functioning human being, and jump ahead to the recovery time, including lots of Clorox wipes, hot water washes for all textiles contacted, and feelings of general overwhelm-ment regarding how behind you are in every area of life. And, in my case, there is that none-too-subtle reminder that the only difference between this and being pregnant is that when you’re pregnant, you are still expected to go places and talk to people because technically you’re as healthy as they come. That and duration. Successful pregnancies last much longer than GI viruses. And you actually gain weight, and are required to eat, and the ending is more painful...but I digress.

I will now be spending the second half of Lent attempting to give up worrying about the next pregnancy and meditating on the fact that pain and sickness, though intangible, are nonetheless very real things.
Up next, fun Spencer stories.


  1. you are hilarious! if my children ever get well, I have puzzles for Spencer.

  2. So sorry about the sickness! I've heard the current stomach bug making its rounds is REALLY unpleasant. I'm hoping my body does not beckon said bug...we'll see. Hang in there!


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