This week the kids and I are on spring break. While we did not plan any big trips this year, we were all looking forward to spending the week exploring our own city. We had planned to spend a day at the local park, a day at our favorite zoo and end the week off with a hunt for fairies downtown. Personally, I was just excited to get outside and do something again. After the long winter that we had, the forecast was showing a big warm up for this week (like 56 degrees!) It was going to be glorious! However, as they usually do, plans changed.
Monday, our first real day of spring break, my daughter started complaining of a sore throat. Sure, I thought, she must have the little bug that her brother had the week before. . no big deal. I made her some warm honey and lemon water and put her to bed. Next, a high fever hit and she began throwing up. Ok, maybe she has a cold AND the stomach flu, poor baby. I told her she would just have to wait it out. It should be gone within a few days and we would still have the end of spring break to get outdoors and enjoy the fun things we had planned, at least one or two of them. When Tuesday morning arrived I immediately knew that this was NOT a cold and it was NOT the flu. My pale skinned beauty was now transformed into a little red Oompa Lumpa. A tiny red rash was covering her body. One look at her and I knew what we were dealing with. . scarlet fever. (Don’t ask me how I knew. I really know nothing about the virus at all. It just hit me like “That’s what she has”. I’ll chalk it up to weird mommy intuition.)
I immediately phoned the doctor and we made a quick trip into town to confirm my mom-intuition. I was right. Scarlet Fever. Dang. Who get’s scarlet fever anymore? Isn’t that some ancient sickness? Just the name itself sounded scary. I began to break down into tears right in front of the doctor. I was worried sick. If you are yet to become a mother let me warn you, the stress that comes with motherhood is crazy. Ask any mother and she will tell you. It’s crippling. As I sat in the small examination room, all of the small things that I deal with everyday as a mom along with the new stress of sickness began to pile up. I am actually quite embarrassed now thinking back to the way I acted, but I was just plain worn out and beaten down that day. The doctor, who I think was a bit startled at my reaction to his prognosis, did his best to calm me down. He tried to re-assure me that she would be ok. We would put her on some antibiotics and they should take away the illness and the rash with little to no lasting harm.
When we arrived back home I slumped into my chair and wondered how I was going to make it through the rest of the day, let alone the rest of the week. My fun filled week with my kids was now going to be a week stuck in the house with my kids. A sick six year old and a rambunctious three year old who wants nothing more than to go outside, how fun. How was I going to find the strength to be the mom I wanted and needed to be? I decided to grab a cup of coffee to help keep my eyes from closing (as they so desperately wanted to do) and I walked over to the big window in my living room which overlooks the mighty maple tree standing just to the other side of the glass. The closed up air inside my home was suffocating, yet outside I could hear the muffled sound of birds chirping. Maybe a little bit of fresh air would help me come out of this stressed out slump I was in. I cracked open the window and was touched by the most gentle spring breeze and scent of life renewed.
If you think us Michiganders are absolutely crazy for choosing to live in a state where the cold outweighs the warmth, than you have never experienced a Michigan spring. Michigan spring is the reason we stay around and battle through the winters. There is nothing more amazing than the smell of fresh air after the long winter months. I am not sure what the smell is that flows through the breeze those first few days of warmth, but it is a drug.
I stood in front of the window for the longest time, closing my eyes and breathing in the fresh air deep into my lungs. I felt renewed. I can do this, I thought.
Even though right now I am feeling like a big ball of chaos and my mind is completely muddled, I once again feel ok. Motherhood is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had, but it is not impossible. I just need to remember to take it one day at a time.
When I woke up this morning my daughter was almost back to her old self. How do I know she is feeling better? I know this because she is back to fighting with her brother. The two of them have been bickering all morning back and forth. It’s funny. The sound of them fighting just days before would have sent me into a big ball of tension, however today it made me smile. While she still has a few more days of sitting around the house, she is getting better and that is a blessing. Now, to figure out how to handle this fighting?!