Today I will need to exercise an extra measure of grace.
It started much too early, today did. As I write, it's 5:30AM. I have been up for an hour and a half.
I know there are those for whom this is normal, this rising before the sun. It is not normal, nor welcome, for me.
Today started with the sound of our littlest one retching in her crib. I went to her room, picked her up, told my husband I needed a bowl for her, changed her diaper. Ten minutes later she was retching in our bed and on me. Bath for her, change my pajamas, listen to her jibber-jabber. Ten minutes later...rinse and repeat. Ad nauseum. Finally I just gave up and now she and I are set up in the family room. She was rocking with me but now seems happier on a towel on a folded-up quilt on the floor.
It's hard when someone this little (12 mos.) is sick. They don't give the usual signs that an older child gives, giving you time to grab the bowl. Her sign is very subtle right now -- she moves her head. I know that she's on a ten-minute cycle, so when I see that head move at ten minutes, I grab the bowl and sit her up.
I'm debating whether to give her some activated charcoal. Probably the answer is yes, but that involves finding it, and can I do that in ten minutes' time?
I've already moved the laundry over. There are her sheets to wash, and two changes of pajamas for me, and our sheets. There will be extra towels. And there's the regular laundry. I had grand plans of hanging clothes out to dry in the gorgeous spring weather we're finally having, but now I'm especially thankful for the dryer. I know I won't have the energy for hanging.
And that's where the extra measure of grace will need to come in. I tend to be overly critical of...everything...when I'm exhausted. The littlest messes set me off. And today being a Tuesday, which follows a Monday (Piano Day and Try-to-Recover-from-the-Weekend Day) in which we had other things to get done besides righting the house, there are already little messes. So as I can, after I rinse Ada's bowl every ten minutes and get her situated back on the quilt, I'm straightening those and trying to get things back in order for when the other kids get up.
I'll need to remember to speak softly and smile often over today's schoolwork. I know I very much set the tone for the children's day, and quite honestly I don't feel like doing much of any school. But I know there will be more mayhem and chaos if I don't, so we will do what we can and rest in that.
The gorgeous spring blossoms have brought with them their spring pollen. We have several here, my husband included, who are sneezing and coughing and wheezing their way through the day with blurry eyes. I'll need to be kind to them and gentle with their crankiness.
In the end, I think it's best to be honest with myself. Today will be a challenge. I handle things so poorly when I am exhausted. I need to acknowledge that up front and then move forward, slowly and carefully, leaning on the Lord's strength and letting His grace shine in my weakness.
I'm so very glad for Susanna's reminder on an online forum a few weeks ago. She knows I love a good hymn, and she reminded me of the words of "Day by Day and with Each Passing Moment." The children and I have been memorizing it. Every day I hear bits and pieces of it from some child's mouth, often intermingled with "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "Holy, Holy, Holy." It's a great song to have running through your head, especially on days like today:
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best --
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Power;
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
Ever to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
And now, as I write this, Ada has been sleeping peacefully for forty-five minutes. Things are already looking up!