Ruby’s got the flu. I’m home with her at least today and maybe tomorrow, as Jonathon’s out of town.
She came downstairs Sunday morning, flushed and shaking.
“Mom, I don’t feel good,” she said, breathless. She’d gotten home the day before from a two-day long youth convention in Portland. The combination of too little sleep and junk food meals did her in.
I quickly wrapped her up on the couch. She already suspected she had a temperature, because she held the thermometer in one hot hand. The thermometer beeped almost immediately: 100.6 degrees.
“Okay,” I said. “You’re staying home with me.” I didn’t have any church obligations, and even if I did, most likely whatever instrument Jonathon was scheduled to play would trump my back-up vocals.
I grabbed some Dayquil from upstairs, thinking it might give her relief from the fever and sore throat. But she threw it up. And threw up again later. I asked her if she wanted to go back to bed. I’d be here to take care of her.
“Can I just sleep on the couch?”
Sure. Pick a couch. We have six.
She parked herself, a huddled, barely sentient lump, on the purple couch in front of the TV. I left her alone. I had vacuumed that room early in the morning. I’m glad I did now. I checked in on her, added a blanket. After a few hours, we tried some water. She kept it down. Then, tea. She groaned now and then. Her stomach still roiled. She fell asleep at one point. I think that helped immensely. Her temp peaked at over 102 degrees.
She never ate any solid food. I ran a hot bath for her and got her into bed, this time with Nyquil. She woke up a bit better today. She drank tea, even put milk in it herself. She ate a bit of toast and cut up mango.
I don’t like it when one of the kids is sick. I imagine most parents don’t. We wish we could take it on ourselves instead. We know we’ll recover; we only have to wait it out. But maybe that’s something we should let our kids learn on their own. It’s part of growing up. We’ve already rooked them out of experiencing chicken pox, measles and mumps. I had all of those as a child. They helped me to learn that I can get really, really sick and still recover. Healing is possible. God designed our bodies to function in amazing ways. We have immune systems that we can enhance for greater, faster recovery. We can play a part in our healing, but ultimately, God does the work.
So, in a way, I get a front row seat to a small miracle with my girl. She’s already laughing a little and voicing her preferences again. We’ll keep her and ourselves quarantined until the ick passes. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.