We’re on day 14 of the stomach virus at my house. My toddler has had it the entire time while each of the kids have had their share. I’ve paid my dues to the virus, logged my own 6 days, and am praying I don’t have to do a second round before it vacates our premises. It’s been a long haul.
I woke up to puke for Mother’s Day, and went to bed at the end of Mother’s Day puking myself. But Mother’s Day is a Hallmark holiday after all; this is the real stuff of motherhood. And yet, in spite of everything, I’m moved to tears with gratitude.
I’ve had 14 days, but I know mothers who have faced years of this kind of suffering (and worse), with no hope and no cure in sight.
I was sent home from the doctor with nothing except “keep on keeping on” because my toddler, even after being sick for so long, is still nourished and hydrated enough to be getting into the doctor’s drawers and throwing tantrums because he can’t push buttons on the doctor’s keyboard. There was no IV, no hospital admission, no dehydration. We went home.
I have hope. This light affliction (though it doesn’t always seem light) is but for a moment (though a moment can seem like an eternity). This too shall pass. And with it will pass the days of holding small hands and kissing warm heads and snuggling sleepy little ones.
This is a mixed cup, this stuff of motherhood. And if I gulp too fast, I’ll only taste the bitter. But if I savor, if I slow down, if I intentionally give thanks, there is a sweetness too. Even stomach bugs have a silver lining.