My kids and I are sick. We have been through a couple rounds of the cold/flu. The most recent one is pretty intense. I got it first, and I woke up on Monday miserable and whiny. I insisted that Bryan get up, at 5:am, and email his boss asking to work from home and/or take vacation time that day so he could take care of me and the kids if I couldn’t. He was hesitant because he can call in sick when HE’s sick, but he’s supposed to give three days’ notice of working from home and a week’s notice of taking a vacation day. (His boss let him anyway.)
I was also upset because he didn’t comfort me in the way I wanted him to (keep a cool washcloth on my head, snuggle close, rub my back, get me water, give words of encouragement, make the kids breakfast, change their diapers, get them dressed, put one down for a nap and entertain the other- all while not interrupting the back rub.)
He arranged for our home teacher to come by and help him administer a blessing to me, after which I felt much better. I also felt better after I got moving and distracted myself from feeling bad. I ended up not needing him to do everything for me that day, although he did make me and the kids a delicious breakfast, complete with nectarine and banana slices on top of my warm oatmeal from scratch.
On Tuesday, Peter woke up early, 5:am, miserable and whiny. He wouldn’t take the pacifier, he screamed when I put him down, he screamed while I held him, and he wouldn’t even nurse. He just wanted to get down and crawl.
If I had not experienced the sickness first, I would have plunked him back in his crib, ticked that he interrupted my sleep, and let him go back to sleep by himself. But I knew that he felt awful and he wasn’t just being stubborn, and that it helps to have something to do. He woke up Heidi, and since I haven’t been able to get her to go back to sleep in the morning if she wakes up early, (please comment if you have tips), I put Peter in the crib in her room and let them play while I napped a little longer.
All day, I was quick to get them both milk, and more willing to do things for them that I knew they could do. I usually can make breakfast, but I did not feel like it on Monday. I imagined it was similar for Heidi and putting her shoes on or Peter and lifting the spoon to his mouth.
So during the kids’ illness I have been a much kinder mom because of my recent experience. I don’t think I would have chosen to get sick, or even be sick at the same time as them, but it was so good that I was.
Jesus Christ, in his wisdom, chose to feel what we would go through before we felt it. He chose to experience everything we do, so he would know how to succor us (Latin for “run to.”)
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people.