We’ve been hit with the sick stick repeatedly, and it is making everyone crazy in this house. You caught your first super high fever a few weeks ago, but didn’t seem phased in the slightest – still jumping on the couch ottomans, higher than high – until boom – everything ached in your tiny little body. Bee, you were miserable. And you whined this sad little cow-sound and lost your appetite and gained a new distaste for everything, even your boyfriend Cailou. Suddenly, we couldn’t fix it.
So we bathed you and massaged you and listened to your whines. We rubbed your back and offered you apple juice and told you jokes, but of course, there was no laughing. And you screamed and kicked and cried, your body fighting for what it needed and releasing what it didn’t. And then, somewhere between the eighth and ninth Daniel Tiger episode, your body released the flu…
Straight into ours.
I’ll spare you the graphic details, but Bee, there was not a surface unscathed. Your father and I took turns caring for you with the lowest energy imaginable – two feathers floating throughout the house while you zoomed past and we blew over in a hazy fog, spinning up and down and back again. It was the worst.
And still, you survived. We survived. For a moment – we experienced something difficult together, struggling alongside of each other, trading symptoms and war stories and finding a deep empathy far within ourselves. We sailed and we sank and we soared, each of us unlocking strength and endurance along the way.
We are going to have so many flus, Bee. We will share bad news and rough waters and missed opportunities. And it will be hard, and we’ll all be tempted to throw in the towel and rely on ourselves, filling our own cups with apple juice and misdirected pride – deep breaths in, big sighs out.
But I think there’s another way, and I think we learned it last week: to lighten our selves so we’re featherweight, relying on the empathy we share to increase and multiply, creating a soft, down-filled pillow.
The perfect place to rest our heads.