(For those of you wondering, this is a frantic lego dude stuck to the bottom of a couch. As one person has already asked, those are tools in his hands. I took this photo a couple years ago, when a buddy and I removed the couch from our living room, got it out to the curb and discovered the poor (yet somehow appropriate) stowaway right before the couch went…away.
I chose the photo because I can relate. That the toy stuck to the bottom of this particular couch on that particular day had this particular expression of panic and an urgent sense of “put me down”, seems perfect for this week.
Both of my kids had the flu. Starting last weekend, we were looking forward to a long weekend heading into their week of “Winter Break.” That’s when my son kicked the holiday weekend off with his not-entirely-invisible friend, Influenza. It kept him pretty much incapacitated until Wednesday.
So I went to work on Thursday.
And in the middle of the night, my daughter wants a piece of the action. Because kids only ever start massive bouts of vomiting at 2AM.
We haven’t had a lot of sleep. We’ve needed buckets. It hasn’t been pretty. It’s barely blogable. (That word is barely blogable.) Between sheets, blankets, pajamas and whatever else found itself in the “line of fire,” we’ve gone through what seems like half a bottle of laundry detergent.
My schedule is so scrambled that I’m writing this at 1AM but I feel like it’s only 7PM.
I’m not sure my bosses remember who I am. My timesheet looks like a Sudoku puzzle. Meetings were cancelled and conversations were halted. My lunch buddies this week have been slowly nursing frozen juice from a tube.
I now know exactly how many steps it is from my bedside to each of my children’s beds because I stopped fumbling for my glasses every 45 minutes. I have the stubbed toes to prove it.
My poor kids have been miserable and all I can do is pat their exhausted, heaving backs and dry their tears, again. I almost lost it when my daughter apologized for throwing up this morning.
I’ve carried them both up and down steps. I’ve been gooey and gross. I’ve woken up in bizarre positions in the most bizarre of places throughout the house including the shower and leaning against the kitchen counter. I was waiting for the coffee pot to finish brewing.
I have seen the entire Spy Kids franchise. All 4 movies. In order. “Please, God, make it stop.” (That in itself, might be cause for Mr. Lego’s expression.)
It’s more than fair to say that both the wife and I are in pretty bad shape. That might be generous.
I was praying for her the other night and I got through “Lord, thank you for Kr…….” Before I caught myself snoring. Then I couldn’t remember what I was doing or why my hand was on her back.
The fridge is full of leftovers because nothing ever seems appealing when you’re this tired. You’re never hungry when you’re cleaning up what we’ve been cleaning up.
There have been moments that I would give my left kidney just to drive to Starbucks for ten minutes. I don’t even want to buy anything. I just want to stand in a place that smells like coffee and always seems to play music that I like.
The rhythms are off. The schedules are shot. If it’s quiet, you sleep, no matter what time it is. If you can’t sleep, check work email. If you still can’t sleep, answer them.
I found my iPad and there were three consecutive “It’s Time for your Daily Bible Reading.” It’s been that kind of week.
My prayers have been all over the place. I’ve attempted to cast the flu out of our home. I’ve sat on a tile floor with more tears than words. A lot more tears than words. I sat on my son’s bed, moments after the thermometer hit 103.5 and prayed desperately that the fever stop there. My daughter’s head was on my lap and she was shaking and weeping and all I could do was stroke her sweat-matted hair and mutter “help.”
But I have prayed. Through all of it, I have prayed. Once the lights go off at night, my last waking moments are spent in that Holy whisper. I don’t always get to “Amen,” in fact I’ve rarely gotten there this week. Somehow, I manage to close my eyes and end my day with words and thoughts and hopes that tomorrow will be better.
A few times this week, it wasn’t.
But that doesn’t stop me. It can’t. If I stop praying, something’s broken. If I stop praying, I’m cutting myself off from the only One keeping the same insane schedule. If I stop praying, I’m paralyzing my soul.
So the Holy whisper continues. It must. If the relationship matters at all, it must.
In fact, you can’t call it a relationship if there’s no talking.
So I keep on going. One more towel. One more word. One more hug. One more load of laundry. One more pop-tart or bowl of cereal. One more…whatever it takes. And I pray.
Mostly, so I stay connected. And a little, so I don’t end up like the guy in the picture.