Sunday, May 10, 2015

Treasure These Days, My Dear

When our children were about 3, 5, 8, and 10, they all came down with stomach flu on a Thursday night.

Each time a child was sick, both Jonathan and I got up and stripped the child, washed the child, put the child in new pajamas, stripped the bed, put the dirty bedding in the laundry, put clean bedding on the bed, and put the child to bed again. Things would have been hectic but manageable had they all been sick at the same time, but they managed to stagger their unfortunate episodes so that one was sick at 11, one at midnight, one at 1 am, and one at 2 am. It was epic.

The next day, Friday, they all stayed home from school while their daddy took care of them. I never had enough sick leave or vacation, so I went to work, running on about two cylinders.

Saturday, of course, we were all home. The children were perfectly well by this point and were dashing around in all directions as usual. Jonathan and I still felt half-dead. But by golly, we managed to get all of us to Mass on Sunday.

The kids were about this age.
Mass was probably the usual attempt to manage our fidgety children. We generally sat in the front pew on the left so that they could see everything clearly and would become interested. This was not as efficacious as we had been told it would be.

After Mass, a blue-haired old lady who had been sitting behind us grabbed my arm. In the creakiest possible voice, she said, “Treasure these days, my dear. They are the best days of your life.”

I smiled politely and thanked her, but I wanted to say “SHOOT ME NOW.”


Now that my children are grown and my grandchildren are not usually around, I see what the old lady meant. Children are indeed precious. However, I hope I never forget what it was like to work full time and have four young children. The years are short, but the days are so long!

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