While we were visiting New Hampshire, our son-in-law and the older children spent the better part of one day helping another family move into their new home. Their reward for this good deed was to catch a stomach flu, and bring it home to the rest of us.
One by one the children's gastro-intestinal systems gave in. Porter and I took our turns at the end, but the last victim of all was—you guessed it—Heather. I believe there is quite a bit of truth behind the idea of mom-immunity, a constitutional strength that keeps mothers going until their children are on the mend.
But that immunity finally deserted her the day after I came down with the bug myself. Since I was no longer actively vomiting, and the children—now essentially back to normal—were active and needy, I crawled out of bed to see if I could be useful.
But Jon, who had been among the first to get ill and recover, had everything under control, assisted by the older kids—especially Faith: The Nurturing Force is strong in this one. So I gratefully crawled back up to bed.
Where I stayed for the rest of the day.
For a day all I had to do was drag myself between bed and bathroom, and thought that was a difficult enough task. The rest of the time I slept. And slept. And healed.
What a luxury! What a tremendous blessing! What mom ever has this opportunity? Maybe mothers whose children are in school or daycare can get a few hours' rest, but outside of those hours they too spend more time functioning than healing. Babies need nursing, and children—especially children who have recently been sick themselves—sometimes need Mom's attention, despite the avaiability of other helpers.
Then there are those whose job situations leave them little choice but to drag themselves out of their sickbeds and into a full day's work—to infect who knows how many others along the way.
Wouldn't it be so much better for everyone if our life situations had enough slack built into them to allow all sick people the time to heal effectively?