Sam woke up at 2:30 am this morning, projectile vomiting all over his bed and pillows. Scott took the first shift of changing and rinsing and soaking and wiping down.
I took the next three. And so on. Evidently the stomach flu is making its way around our community and it was our turn to take it for a spin. To put a kicker in it all, our gas line has been turned off since yesterday so there's no hot water for laundry or showers and the temperature in the house is edging down towards 65 degrees. Nicor picked a wonderful week to dig a massive hole in our front yard to replace some pipes.
Will this bug plow through the entire family? Oh I am feverishly hoping not, selfishly I have a wedding to play for on Saturday, and a church service to do on Sunday. A big red bucket next to the piano bench will look a little out of place.
It's so hard to think rationally in the middle of the night, isn't it? I can't even think of what to do first--clean him up? Find clean sheets? Skip the sheets and get towels? How do you get throw up out of a down comforter? You just feel so bad for the Little Buddy, he hasn't been sick in ages and has no idea what is happening to him.
And then after emailing my Bible Study group (we were supposed to meet here this morning over granola bars and tarte tatin), I got so many messages back filled with empathy and encouragement and wonderful perspective that it made me feel "full" for the day. A phone conversation with my mom, who offered to go to the store. Another one with my sister-in-law, who shared some practical empathetic wisdom. It made me feel like I can do this, despite my greasy hair and the piles of stinking laundry stacking up, that we are loved and are not alone. One other friend shared that her personal view of her own hard sick days was that it was God's way of divinely appointing her a "home day." A day for me too, to physically minister to my children in a very tangible, very real way.
To me, this is the meaning of community, of being in a small group that supports and loves and serves, no matter what.