…will make you stronger” is not a motto I like to live by because it’s something you say to comfort yourself under duress. But this is exactly what I was thinking all through last week when Noah came down with his first serious cold.
It all started about two weeks ago at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend week when Charlie declared that he was “not feeling well” and needed to go lie down immediately.
At first I was somewhat unsympathetic (wait, before you judge me…) because usually when I get sick, Charlie seizes the opportunity to lecture me about improving my hygiene and how his superior handwashing skills are keeping him healthy, yadda, yadda, yadda. Not only that, he only SAID he was feeling ill but he didn’t LOOK it (for a comparison, look at the photo of sick Noah posted on his blog).
Then as the days wore on Charlie’s little cold lingered. When his sick leave stretched from one to four days, I became concerned. I had just started my first period in 15 months and taking care of Noah day and night on my own was wearing me down quickly. On top of that, we were scheduled to meet up with two sets of friends over the holiday weekend and I didn’t know how we would be able to make the 4 hour roundtrip drive (to Elk Grove).
Miraculously Charlie got better by the weekend and we managed to make those appointments with our friends and enjoy a relatively relaxed if tiring weekend.
But soon after, the real battle commenced. On Tuesday Noah woke up feverish and lethargic; the Curious George who reached out to touch everything just the day before lay there quiet and weak. Even though Noah has had runny noses before this is the first time we’ve seen him so ill. The next day when things didn’t improve, we took Noah to see the doctor (for a detailed account, see Noah’s blog) but there’s really nothing we could do for him. Thank God, after two days of high fever, heavy coughing, congestion, and vomiting (from coughing too hard) Noah slowly regained his energy though he continued to battle the virus.
All this time I was “congratulating” myself on being strong and staying healthy against the NASTY cold but as soon as Noah started showing signs of recovery, my defense system “relaxed” (like it used to back in college after finals week) and then it was my turn to battle the virus. But since I had been holding fort for over a week and a half, it wasn’t long before the cold got the better of me.
Ordinarily when I’m not feeling well Charlie would arrange to work from home to give me a hand but after a week of illness he needed to be in the office everyday.
So for two days until the weekend, I mustered all the “super” strength I had to take care of Noah on my own during the day, crashing in the evening when Charlie came home. Each night when my head, nose and chest were unbearably congested, I would lie there in the dark and mutter the mantra to myself “All you need to do is ‘SURVIVE’. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”
Now, I know that in view of the long life ahead, this is only one of many “hardships” (and most of you probably won’t even consider it as such) that we’ll have to overcome. Still, I think I can give myself a pat on the shoulder for putting up a good fight.
Yesterday I dreamed that I was driving when the one of the wheels of the large truck became loose and the truck started swerving. Using super mommy strength that I didn’t know I had, I singlehanded rescued Noah from the runaway vehicle and carried him and all of our multiple (don’t know why we had so many) diaper bags to safety. In the last scene, I turned back to take a parting look at the overturned truck, Linda Hamilton style.
So yeah, it’s true that us moms will find superhuman strength to help our kids. I just hope that the next challenge won’t come until I’ve had some time to develop more muscles on our Wii Fit.
I wrote this post last week while still recovering from the cold. Now that I’m well again (breathing with both nostrils), I am wondering if the whole ordeal was as bad as I made it sound…But then again, giving birth seems “easy” now too (and I KNOW it wasn’t – in fact, I was pretty traumatized by the whole process). I guess this is one the reasons why some people end up having many kids, huh?