This week has been an adventure in parenting.
Adventures sound fun. They sound like scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. They sound like your first comic book convention or Paris or meeting a favorite author. But Lord of the Rings was an adventure story and people died in that book. Lives fell apart. Tragedy struck.
Isn’t he pretty?
My life is so far from tragic I should be smacked for saying that last thing. Tragedy didn’t strike my family. I am as blessed as ever and certainly too stupid to recognize some of my blessings. But here’s my tale of woe all the same:
Monday I got the ever-so-fun call from the daycare saying that FiestyPants was sick. She’d puked two times and was lethargic. I needed to come get her. In what seemed like the most epic and stupid case of hypochondria ever, I stood up to get her, my head spun, and I had to sit down. I was sitting at my desk sweating and thinking I might puke while my coworkers, rightfully, were mocking me. My internal dialogue, running sarcastically as ever, was mocking as well for being so ridiculous in front of my boss and scolding me for trying to too obviously “set up” a day off.
Only, (1) my boss is cool, and I’ve never felt the desire to play those games and (2), I really was sick.
Alas, the Norovirus had hit the daycare, and we were early victims. I picked the kids up about 3:30pm by 5:00pm, the Health Department had been to the school. They called to say, FiestyPants couldn’t come back for 48 hours after her last puke/poop. Lovely.
Lovely, I don’t have that kind of sick time. Lovely, I am a single parent. Lovely, on the way to the house, FiestyPants puked on me. Within an hour, I was puking over the side of the deck.
I am blessed enough to have a mother and sister to step in with the tots who had finished puking and were laying about while I curled up in a ball on my bed. It was that fun kind of illness where you debate whether you can make it back to your bed, or you should stay next to the toilet. I fell asleep in the bathroom a few times waiting for a burst of strength to get me back to the bed–4 steps away. I’ll spare you the details, but honestly, the Norovirus is like the flu’s vicious, creative, step-cousin.
The rest of the tale goes like this:
1) I started to feel mildly better.
2) The tots were lazy from Noro. (Thank goodness forever!)
3) My mom, sister, and dad got the illness during the middle of the night.
4) Everyone else at the daycare got sick.
6) The daycare closed.
7) IT CLOSED. FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS SOME SORT OF CRUEL JOKE? CLOSED! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THE DAYCARE CLOSED? I HAVE A JOB, PEOPLE, YOU CAN’T JUST SHUT DOWN. YOU CAN’T CLOSE AS THOUGH WHAT WE PAY YOU FOR ISN’T VITAL. VITAL I TELL YOU. DAMN IT. DAMN IT. DAMN IT.
So you can see, I’m kinda mad about that. Then they had the gall to tell us it would be unethical to take the tots somewhere else. Since they were probably contagious And the side of me that’s human was fighting the side of me that has a job. Because I don’t want to get other toddlers sick for Christmas, but I HAVE A JOB, PEOPLE. And my daycare closed. Gah! Gah! Gah! I mean, you can’t run a daycare with sick staff. From what I can tell from their emails, the staff dropped like flies, and that makes me sad for them. (Cause as much as I hate their whole report you for child abuse after two days for abuse policy (even after I explained FiestyPants was FIESTY), FiestyPants likes it better there. And BoyBlue likes it better there. And they play more outside, and the tots are continuing to improve.) And the lovely ladies who work when I pick the kids up (I rarely see their early shift teacher), are lovely ladies. And it makes me sad to think of them hurling their brains out just before Christmas. But damn it. The daycare is already closed the week of Christmas, and that has already stressed me out, and then you close while my whole family is sick, and I have to call in for a week. And beg my barely-well family to watch the babies over Saturday even though my sister is moving so that I can make up time, and then work on Sunday while the tots are visiting their mumma, and be so, so, so, grateful my bosses are not dicks as well as being parents, so I could drop vaca for the following week and work the weekend all in order to pay my rent.
So alas and woe.
Alas, alas, alas, and woe.
oh sad face cavi puppy.
On the other hand, I will be able to pay my rent. We are all healthy-ish again for Christmas. I have a family I love to pieces, and even though I am not their mother, I have two lovely children I love so much it hurts and on Christmas morning I will watch them open presents and play and have fun. Added to all those amazing blessings are the blessings of having a nice home, wonderful friends, a good job, enough to eat, a free country, and faith in Jesus Christ which gives me hope for the future.
Maybe it’s that hope that is the greatest blessing of all. There is so much about my life that I would change if I could; yet, I can honestly say I feel to be so blessed. And it’s the hope that gives me the greatest peace of all. Hope in the future both for this life and the next. Hope that there is a God who loves me, Amanda-me, me-me. Me individually. Who loves me enough to let me struggle and grow and suffer and dream. So, there it is. A tale of woe, but a dream of hope; a knowledge that there are better things to come along with the trials of the future, and the certainty that with those trials will come the surety of a Father who loves me and even if He won’t take my trials away; He’ll stand by me as I work through them. Big or small. Puking or not. Adopting the little ones or letting them go, I will be sure that I am Loved.
And that my friends is a blessing.