I was not at peace last night. I put the baby down, kissed my preschooler goodnight, and tossed and turned for hours even after taking a pain pill and one of the precious few sleeping pills that remain. I read, I wrote, I watched Jon Stewart; all the things I used to do before my preschooler needed my help going to sleep every night. I petted and cuddled the dog, but it wasn’t enough.
Just as I was dropping off to sleep, sharp cries from the nursery pulled me out of my funk. My baby was not only awake (no, you may NOT watch Stephen Colbert, honey), but sick. Chunky white vomit covered his blue turtle pajamas, his little red hands, and his soft sheep sheets. It was everywhere, and he was mad.
As I cleaned him up and cuddled him close, I realized that there were much worse things in this world than being sick — having a sick child, for instance, or not having him at all. So I wiped him off carefully with a soft washcloth, cuddled him in a towel while he calmed down, and gave thanks for him. For no matter what happens to me, there is a Little Bear in this world because of me, and he may do great things. I will be strong for him.
Daddy came in with Widget, then, and helped me clean up the mess and the baby as he threw up again, and eventually we all went back to sleep, cuddled in two beds, all mixed up, but comforting one another through a difficult night.
This morning I remembered my gratitude as I woke, ready for a day of puttering around the house and waiting for 2:00 to come. Widget and I did laundry, painted a birdhouse, cleaned the kitchen, and did all the things that mommies and little children do on an ordinary day. Then we played baseball outside with Little Bear wandering through and around the bases, feeling better just in time for his own appointment at noon. We’re going to be okay. We’re all going to be okay.
(The title of this post comes from Widget, at 9:00 this morning, as he hopped into Mommy’s bed with my book and a bag of smartfood popcorn that he lifted from the pantry downstairs. “Look, Mommy,” he said as I walked in after changing his brother’s diaper, “Come sit with me. I have all your favorite things.” And, as I surveyed the scene, dog, pillows, preschooler, book, popcorn, and all, I looked down in my arms at my littlest one and realized that he was right. With the exception of Daddy, working downstairs in his office, we were all set. Right there in front of me were all my favorite things.)
We’re going to be okay. We’re in this together.