I Love Sick Days

I know that I’m not supposed to enjoy them. But I do. I love everything about them…except the laundry involved.

I get to under-commit. When people ask me to come out, I have a socially acceptable reason to hole up with my little people. No makeup. No matching clothing. No, we can’t come over. No, we can’t meet up. No, you won’t be offended, because you don’t want to catch it.


The blur turns into a moment. I woke up this morning to the hot breath of a preschooler (in sunglasses) saying that his stomach hurt. This was after an emergency bathroom “event” with his sister at 3 am, and just before coaching both boys through their first throwing up in over a year.

My mental to-do list cleared: no sitter, no Mass, no work, no squeezing in school, no errands. Canceled. The whole day. Done. I closed my eyes, listened to the birds outside, and breathed a sigh of relief. Of course, this was immediately broken by a little boy moan, and I hit the ground running. But, in that moment, I stopped juggling and was able to hold a single ball in the air: keep kids alive and relatively happy.


We get to fix our broken relationships. It’s one thing for me to get a few hours to myself to recharge. It is a healing miracle when we all stop and live a day without expectations. I am forced to put aside the distractions that keep me from meeting my kids’ eyes or listening to them sharing their hearts. Only a crazy person would risk checking Facebook again with a kid or two on the brink of an explosion. Only a heartless person can ignore the tears and confusion in their eyes when they’re sick. Today there was one option: be sane and love them. Patience and gentleness win, where attempts at virtue previously failed.

So, I thank God for the puke. And let Him know that we’re good now, please take it away.


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