Thanks to everyone who responded to my Sick Day post. I didn’t get around to responding to the comments, but I took them to heart, which is better. You know, I’m finding out more and more about myself as we travel down this parenting and home educating path, and some of the stuff I’m finding is not so good. I’m learning mostly, though, that perhaps this home education thing is as much about me as it is my children. I believe that God uses everything in our lives, if we are His, to mold us into the image of Christ. Unfortunately, sometimes I’m pretty unpliable. But He keeps kneading.
By Wednesday of last week, I thought Lulu was surely better. Tuesday had turned out to be even “less productive” academically than Monday, but by Tuesday evening she seemed like her usual self–no fever, playing, etc. On Wednesday I’d had enough of staying cooped up indoors, so I declared that day a “let’s each lunch with daddy” day and plunked both girls in the bathtub first thing. I even insisted on washing their hair, despite Lulu’s complaints. (Nothing unsual here, I thought–she never wants her hair washed!) We proceeed to eat breakfast, and she ate a hearty one: half of a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter and a small glass of orange juice. We did our morning tidy-up chores (minus the bed-making; I had stripped their beds for washing since sickness had fled our household!) and the girls settled onto the couch for our morning reading time. They were finally both settled with their own blankets (there was a slight skirmish over this).
Parents of small children know where this is going.
We were in the middle of our Bible story: a recounting of God giving the law to Moses, sort of an overview of the whys of all the little rules and regulations found in Exodus after the Ten Commandments, when the next thing I knew, Lulu had vomited all over me, her blanket, and our Bible story book.
The next few moments weren’t pretty, folks. She and I both panic when this happens: she wants to run everywhere but the bathroom, and I do everything within my power to get her into the bathroom. She’s upset, I’m upset, it’s not good. The next couple of hours are a blur: put her into the bathtub; remake her bed; repeatedly ask Louise not to ask so many questions (yes, I did); take another shower myself and put on whatever I can find to wear since every one of my three outfits that I can currently fit into is dirty; mop the floors; call Steady Eddie numerous times to apprise him of the situation (yes, I did); contemplate how to remove the yucky stuff from the sofa cushions; etc. Mostly, I felt guilty over how I handled the whole sick situation and how I had pushed her, due to my own selfishness.
This isn’t about her education, is it? It’s about mine.
This is what I’ve learned: when they’re little and they’re sick, let it go. Reading to them, being patient with them, and loving them is enough. As hard as it is, forget the agenda. Forget the lesson plans. Forget the human body unit that you’re falling even further behind on. Forget where you want to be by the end of April. Just let it go, and let them know that you love them and are taking care of them.
By Thursday, she was over all of the obvious symptoms of her sickness, and we actually completed everything I intended for us to complete, with an extra phonics lesson thrown in for good measure.
At the risk of sounding more melodramatic than I already have, I just want to say that I’m thankful that God doesn’t give up on me, even when it seems that I am exceedingly slow at learning these parenting lessons. He keeps kneading.