We had a wonderful family filled adventure planned for Labor Day. My family is all at a distance, so when we get together it's an exciting treat. We were going to head to my brother's cattle ranch and hang out for the weekend. We were excited to go. I had food in the freezer ready to pack in a cooler, 2 pack-n-plays in the back of the car, a tank full of gas, and our bags packed.
Two nights before we were supposed to leave, Marylane was up all night. Total fluke, right? She'll be fine in the morning. The next morning came and she was a BEAR...crying and crabby. That evening during dinner she was shivering and feverish. Maybe she could be fine by morning and we could still go? Nope. The next morning brought an 102 fever and misery. More sleepless nights. More crabbiness. And now with blisters on her little hands and legs we know she has Hand, Foot, and Mouth.
I was looking forward to time with my family where they could enjoy my babies and I could watch for a second instead of being so IN it every minute. I was expecting life giving conversations and the comfort of my parents. I was expecting home cooked meals instead of thrown together ones that I usually put on the table [or eat from the kitchen counter, if I'm honest.] I spent Friday crying. I know, sick kids just come with parenting but I was tired, I was disappointed, and my expectations were not met. The weekend was hard and I had a hard time regaining perspective.
And then we realized something.
In all the disappointment and unmet expectations, Jason and I solidified something super valuable. We are in this TOGETHER. When you get married, that is what you are signing up for, right? Yes!- but it doesn't happen without hard stuff making it true of you. After many nights not sleeping, a sad wife and crabby kids our only option was to depend on each other and do it together. We took shifts in the night so we could each get a couple hours of sleep. We met the needs of our kids and of each other. Between tantrums and crying we were able to eek out some important conversations. We encouraged each other as we figured out what comforted our uncomfortable daughter. [Mostly Daddy's arms.] We figured out what refreshes each other. We spent an entire long weekend just as the 4 of us. Usually there's activities with friends, church to go to, a lot of in and out and running around. But we slowed down and the 4 of us just took time for each other.
In all my disappointment I needed the power of the Spirit. Jason and I took moments to pray for His limitless, immeasurable power to sustain us. And He did. Last night after we put the kids to bed, we were crawling our tired bodies into bed, the disappointment had subsided, and we realized that we felt closer to each other.
Stuff doesn't happen without other things also happening and in our case, Hand, Foot, and Mouth led to a closer family. I wouldn't choose to have it again, [and we are PRAYING Roux doesn't get it] but I'm grateful for what it gave us.