I've always thought that Sunday feels better if breakfast meanders closer to 10 a.m. than 7 and involves some sort of berries and fresh cream. Mine did.
And it's nice when you can walk around in your bathrobe till mid-morning. I did.
And when someone else makes breakfast for you. My mother-in-law did.
But having spent half the night before rocking a very sick baby and having my snowed-under husband leave for work Sunday morning instead of piling up on the couch with the kids and their blankies ruined any soothing benefit that might have been derived from drinking orange juice from a small glass. I shoved pancakes in my mouth faster than I could swallow so I could hurry back to cradling my fevered little boy.
Once Matthew fell asleep I threw some chicken in the crockpot and made a batch of brownies for my 9 extra dinner guests, most of whom were scheduled to arrive later that afternoon. I whisked together the ingredients for a homemade salad dressing and told myself I would have more time to finish the chopping and tossing later.
After Matthew awoke from his short nap, his condition continued to deteriorate and his breathing became so labored that David came home to take the other kids to church and I ran to instacare with Matthew.
I spent the next three-and-a-half hours there while Matthew received everything from nebulizer treatments and steroids to chest x-rays and deep suction to try and clear out his airways. Exhausted from the medical circus, he finally slept in my arms.
Sitting in a stark exam room, the silence can often feel like a jackhammer on the eardrums. But sometimes, the silence can feel so peaceful and so healing that to interrupt it would be unthinkable. So I cradled my sleeping baby close as my heart whispered to heaven on his behalf.
Over time his oxygen levels improved, but he was still struggling so much that a trip to the local children's specialty hospital was on and off the table. When the doctor finally released him almost four hours later, it was with an armload of inhalers, medication, and instructions to return later that evening for further observation.
I arrived home to a house full of dinner guests who were mostly done with their meal. Leah cried as soon as she saw me and remembered I had abandoned her. My mother-in-law had tried to make the best of my halfway dinner preparations, but my absence left the ingredients for party-sized salad wilting in my fridge and the corn went untouched. It's funny how you can feel guilty for less-than-perfect presentation even when you were dealing with an emergency. "I'm sorry about dinner," I said. "There was supposed to be a salad." As if salad were important. As if it somehow mattered.
Matthew was stable enough at the re-check to stay home overnight, so he slept in a pack 'n play next to my bed. This morning he popped his little face above the side of his cage and said, with a smile, "Mama!" In spite of a low-grade fever and a yucky cough, he has mostly returned to his mischievous ways, stopping by my lap every few minutes for a cuddle, and then hopping down to follow his sister into trouble.
It's amazing how quickly life can return to normal.
To prove it, my house is a mess that I can't bear to clean. And I just noticed a random tampon in my jar of pens. This means one of two things: Leah somehow managed to clamber up to the desk, or my mother-in-law thinks my disorganization level has reached a new low and didn't want to ask me what to do with the personal product she found on my kitchen floor.
I wouldn't be surprised by either one.
Now there's a return to normal.