You know those blog posts that start with a problem and end with a cute little moral, a “you-can-do-it” pep talk, or at least an inspirational quote with a gorgeous panoramic picture?
I know you’re starting to feel a little warm and fuzzy at the thought, so I’m going to go ahead and snap you out of it and dump ice water on that thought. Yeah, this isn’t that post.
This is the post where I tell you how the stomach bug attacked my six year old, while he was at a birthday party by the way, and then proceeded to take the rest of us out one by one like an invisible, icky sniper. You know how this goes…the cleaning of things you haven’t cleaned since…well…the last stomach bug, come to think of it. The indefinite holding of the breath hoping no one else will get sick. The way you simultaneously feel deeply sad for your pitiful child, but also think, “How could you do this to me??!!”
The sick feeling you get when you’re not actually sick but your mind thinks you are.
And then the actual being sick when you start bartering with God, asking yourself where you went wrong in life and why you never appreciated normal digestion.
So we finally got past all that in just under a week and had a deceptively blissful couple days of reprieve. Then Monday two out of 3 kids woke up with ear pain that ended in infections for both. (Side note: Minute clinic offices are really not big enough for two upset sick kids and a three year old that rivals the energizer bunny.)
So here I am today…and I told my husband my compassion is broken. They broke it. Not their fault. No. But sickness is like a megaphone that takes alllllll the whining and the tantrums and the baseline drama and amplifies it a gazillion times. (That is a highly accurate statistic.) If my sympathy is like a tube of toothpaste, we are down to that last little bit that you can only access through complicated origami folds.
My son asked to play a game today and I flat out told him that I simply didn’t want to. Sorry. Not happening today on broken compassion day. And when those sweet sick little kids tried to get out of bed last night or complain about one more malady, I walked them briskly back to bed while attempting to defend my right to personal free time.
Not only is my compassion broken, between kids out of school and sheer delirium, I can barely remember what day it is. I keep drawing confusing lines on my calendar where I put the right event in the wrong square. My son’s birthday is today and I forgot to buy the poor kid a gift. And based on the straggling few forks in my silverware drawer, I’d say I’m massively overdue to clean dishes.
So how do you play into all this? Well…. I think you know exactly how I feel because I believe at least 72% of you have just gone through the same thing. So I promise…I won’t try to cheer you up….I won’t try to pat you on the back and tell you it will get better…I’ve lost my compassion, remember? But go ahead and share your worst sick stories with the rest of us…maybe we’ll all feel a little better after all.