December 7, 2010


As I lay around here sleeping and coughing and sleeping, and sneezing and sleeping some more, one thing that is boldly evident to me is how UNWORTHY I am of it all.  Not the cold or flu or whatever it is that plagues me.  Of that I am sure I am more than deserving.  But of the love of my family.  For more than four days I have completely neglected my duties.  Not only do they carry my weight, but they tend to my every need along the way.

Did I mention they seem to like it?  I seriously have a hard time coming up with enough help to make them all happy.  I sneeze and all the youngers run for a Kleenex as if it was the greatest honor they ever received.  They delight in fixing me tea, a glass of ice water with lime, fetching cough drops, the heating pad or whatever else I should happen to need... or think up to need.  I will never understand what I did to deserve such love.  But it sure gives new meaning to all those sleepless nights when they were toddlers with the stomach flu.  I am sure I was not quite so happy about the whole experience.

I've had laryngitis since the weekend.  Which, as a mom, renders me pretty much jobless.  Gesturing across the room is not very effective in complete chaos.  Brianna has limited the kids to questions that require only a head shake or nod to answer.  Their idea of a yes and no question is a little different than mine, though.  "Mama, can I skip my nap and have some candy and go outside in twenty degree weather (with no coat) so I can play with the ice on top of the pool and is God really the creator of everything?"

This morning Elisabeth came running in to my room and said, "Good morning, Mama."  I croaked back my standard morning question, "Did you have a good sleep?"  She patted me on the cheek with her fat little cold hand and looked up at Pa standing beside her, "She's not better," she said.  She was so proud to have a bit of information up on everyone else.

Ellie is a little perplexed by the Mama being sick thing.  I don't get sick very often.  When I do, it doesn't typically last long and I usually keep moving, even if it is at a slower pace.  The last time I was sick was last year at this time when the whole family went down with the flu.  That's a long time ago for a girl of her age.  I suppose she doesn't remember it.  All weekend she kept coming up to wherever I happen to be sleeping and pet me on the arm and asked the same question over and over, "Mama, why are you sick?"  As if I chose to be sick and should have some explanation as to that decision making process.

If I thought I could reason with the two year old, I might attempt to explain that it is because of the lip balm.  Yes, my very favorite, can't live without it, buy it by the dozens, Avon Care Deeply Lip Balm with Aloe is the culprit.  Well, not just by itself.  Really, it likely has something to do with the fact that Elisabeth is a lip balm fanatic.  She loves the stuff.  No tube is safe.  I try to keep her stocked with her own so she won't use everyone else's, but she loses it and then goes to all our "secret" hiding places and uses ours.  As she has been walking around with this cold for the last few weeks, I have been moving mine higher and higher.  Every time I caught her using mine, I tossed it in the trash.  But I remember vividly, Thanksgiving weekend, picking up a tube and using it only to realize it was down to the plastic casing.  A sure sign that Elisabeth has been using it.  I groaned out loud and remember saying, "Ellie used that one."  Even Aunt Dawn had a look of horror on her face since she had been around observing us trying to avoid chap-stick cross contamination.  That's all it took, Elisabeth.  And that my dear is why Mama is sick.  And incidentally, why we don't share chap-stick.

Yesterday morning, Allen left Emma Rose home from worship so she could tend to me.  In the evening she had cantata practice so I was left alone with Elisabeth.  Which I thought would be kind of fun.  After about ten minutes I realized I didn't feel as good as I thought.  Then I had to come up with some way to entertain a two year old for three hours while I laid on the couch.  It seemed simple at first.  A video.  It always worked when my older kids were little and we came down with the flu at the same time... or worse, I came down with the flu and they didn't.

Except for one catch.  I am hopeless when it comes to electronics.  We have this home theater system that requires components, speakers, a projector, drop down screen and more remote controls than we have children.  I can not even figure out how to turn it on when I am in my right mind.  No way, I was even attempting it in my weakened and brainless state.  I typically call a child to work the thing for me.  Elisabeth could probably work it if she was allowed to touch the buttons.

I reverted to our more than twenty year old television set.  It seems at one time I could turn that on and push play to get a video to run.  Not last night.  No, ma'am.    I tried for ten minutes and just gave up the whole thing.  That's when genius struck.  Ellie and I curled up on the couch and watched Veggie Tales on my laptop.  Allen was wondering what was up when they got home and I was incoherent on the couch with Elisabeth beside me eating and apple staring at the blank computer screen.

Tonight, when he went to class, she wanted to read stories.  I told my girl she would have to read to me and I would look at the pictures this time.  We had a hilarious journey through a couple of Mary Englebreit books.  Then she pulled out the Bible and informed me she was going to read it to me now.  She began like this, "In the Bible God says..."  The rest I couldn't quite understand but I am pretty certain it had something to do with bells.

Speaking of bells.  I still have trouble making a call on my phone but while kicking around not sleeping tonight, I did figure out how to down load Carol of the Bells as a ringtone.  Pretty clever of me, eh?  You laugh.  My kids applauded my technical genius, especially in light of the whole video deal.  It was a matter of necessity, really.  The sounds that came preloaded on the phone were so obnoxious I put the ringer on mute because I couldn't stand to hear it.  Not very effective for a phone.  So, while the kids couldn't believe I figured the whole process out without them, Allen couldn't believe I paid $2.50 for 24 seconds of music, that we own in several versions at that. One of these days I will have to actually work out some useful features like, say, making a call.

What it all boils down to is this.  Praise the Lord for kids who can work electronics.  I need to rethink the family rule about preschoolers not touching them.  And I am not sure why, but I have been blessed with children who delight in serving their mama despite the fact that I make mistakes every single day of this journey we call parenting.  What a good God we serve.

Will you please pass the Kleenex?



  1. This past weekend, I was tempted to offer my 3 year old granddaughter the controls. I was exhausted and cold. She agreed to snuggle next to Nana in our king size bed, downstairs, but she wanted to watch a video. I, too can not operate such devices! I thought I was the only one with this endearing quality. I am glad to know we share the same "issues!" I sure hope you are better soon!
    Big hugs,

  2. Hi, Kat~

    Well, it's nice to know that I am amongst amazing women in the "technology impaired" department! lol

    Praying God's healing hands upon you, sweet friend!

    I have missed you!


  3. well i hope you are starting to feel better, and how wonderful to have the family looking after you! you are most definitely worthy!!

  4. dear Laid-up {low?} Friend,

    I had time to read one post this morning and SO glad I chose yours.
    My heart goes out to you on so many levels here!

    When Mama is in Good Care