Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I lean my face closer to his sleeping form and listen to his breathing.

Even through a mound of blankets I can feel the heat radiating off his back, warming my cheek.

His chest sounds clear, and I sigh in relief.

Finn is sick, and it came on suddenly.   He looked pale and disoriented when I picked him up from school yesterday, and by 4pm he was complaining of a headache and felt warm to the touch.    By 7pm he was passed out on the couch, one little fist clutching his careworn blanket, the other clutching Mr. Pricklepants, his favorite stuffed animal.

I carried him up to bed, his body limp in my arms.    Panic fluttered in my chest, even though we've been through this drill several times over the past couple of months.   

No more, I thought.    I can't do this anymore.

This morning he managed to drink a little Gatorade, and ate one cracker before zonking out on the couch again.

I tick through all I thought I was going to do today.     Figuring out a way to get to everything that needs to be done is like trying to do a puzzle with most of the pieces missing. 

Frustrated, pent-up and anxious, I pace back and forth in my kitchen. 

I'm tired of feeling behind on everything, tired of scraping together meals from the meager offerings in our pantry, tired of sending messages to customers that their orders will be later than I had hoped, tired of cancelling or begging off playdates, appointments, school, activities.  

But most of all, I'm tired of worry.

Just yesterday I was boasting to a friend that we had gone one full week with nobody sick in our house.  

I spoke too soon.

We've battled strep throat, stomach bugs, and now whatever this new illness is - the flu?  Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease?   Strep again?

I perch on the side of the couch and place my hand on Finn's warm head; beads of sweat dot his upper lip even though before he fell asleep he complained that he was freezing.   His lips are bright red, his eyes look sunken into their sockets.

Where is the line?   I wonder.   How do I know how much to worry? 

Finn opens his eyes, and it takes him a moment to focus on my face.   He gives me a half-hearted smile, blinks slowly and whispers, "Thank you for taking care of me, Momma."

I smile and kiss him on the top of his head.   "Don't worry, Bud.  I'm here."

And I am.  I am here.   I think back to days long past, thankfully, when the simple act of being present for a sick child would have sent me into a tailspin.   I'll take the worry, inconvenience, anxiety and frustration.    Even at its worst, it is so much better than hiding from myself, and my family, inside a bottle.

I stroke his hair as he drifts off to sleep, safe in the knowledge that his mother will take care of him as best she can. 

On days like today that doesn't seem like much, but it is everything.


  1. sweetness. thank you for a look into your life today and what goes on in your head. im so glad you got words of affirmation and gratitude from him, too.

  2. Poor little guy. You do what you can when he is zonked out, and be with him when he's not. Order pizza for dinner and it will all work out in the end. I used to go grocery shopping after putting everyone to bed, there's no one at the store that late.

  3. Hang in there, mama. Your customers (and everyone else) will understand. The kids come first, it's just that simple. I know how it is though, the worry, the stress of things undone, the empty fridge. Ask for help. Take it easy. You need a break, too.

  4. Type your comment here.http://www.onecraftymother.com/2011/02/worry.html#
    it is everything. Being present used to send me into tailspin as well. I allowed myself to be consumed by my anxiety, until it became more about me than my sick kiddo.
    Thanks for writing this. Sometimes I forget how far i have come.

  5. Oh, I hope he is better soon. It's so hard to see the little ones sick and it's hard having to deal with it too. Wishing good health soon!

  6. Total bummer. My house is sick in misery too. =( Hope you all feel better sooN!

  7. Awww poor little fella. Being sick is no fun.

    You are doing a great job just being mommy and being there for him. Everything else can wait.