This week in Los Angeles we experienced triple digit temperatures... in April! I love this kind of weather. I'm cold all the time. Seriously! The only time I've felt warm was when I was pregnant with Nathan and Benjamin. Michael and I jokingly called them my "internal combustion heating units". The rest of the time you'll find me wearing one more layer than everyone else, or borrowing Mike's jacket.
The hot weather was just a blip though, they are forecasting for Friday a high of 64 F, a nearly 40 degree drop in just a few days! Although we had big plans to take our dinner down at the beach as the sun set, Benjamin changed that. I walked over to pick him up from his after-school chess class yesterday and found him doubled over, throwing up. He was miserable and embarrassed. The walk home was even worse, and we stopped several times so he could retch into the gutter. All evening he could not stop throwing up. It was horrible to watch, and even worse to hold his feverish body as he shivered and whispered that he felt so, so, so terrible Mommy.
I'm a terrible patient. I don't want to stay in bed, I have too much to do. I'm frustrated at the illness, the weakness, the injury. I don't like to be sidelined, I want to be in the action. But I make an even worse nurse. Every time Michael gets sick (seriously, you can ask him), he asks me why I'm so angry with him. I'm not angry, I say, I just hate it when you're sick. Now get back in bed and rest this minute! And our boy Nathan is just like me, at his sickest he is out of it and then when on the mend he is grumpy and grouchy and upset that he's not feeling 100%. I tend to treat him the same way I treat Michael, very matter of fact. But Benjamin? Every time he gets sick I fall apart. Completely. I sit on the floor in the hallway outside his room and watch him sleep. I hold a wet washcloth to his forehead and sing him songs and tell him stories. And when he cries, I cry. And then when Michael comes home from work I recount the day's events and cry all over again. I'm sure it's simply the leftover fear and concern we felt during his baby and toddler years when simple infections for us could mean a hospital stay for him. That kind of terror isn't easy to forget, even though he is now a strong and healthy little boy.
While going through boxes of stuff to get rid of last week, I came across our medical ID cards for Adventist Hospital in Hong Kong. There was mine, Nathan's, and Michael's. I pouted slightly that I'd somehow misplaced Ben's. And then I remembered that Ben didn't have a card. He never once got sick the entire time we lived there. The rest of us had strep throat a few times, the barfing flu several times, Nathan had a string of injuries requiring stitches and x-rays, and Michael was hospitalized for intestinal distress. But not Ben. Our time in Hong Kong was difficult, but I was blessed with this small grace: never having to sit up all night fretting about him, crying about his health in a foreign country.
Ben is on the mend despite a lingering fever. So far, no one else feels sick. And we're all looking forward to dinner on the beach very soon!
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