Practicing Gratitude

Parenthood is particularly challenging when illness arises.

When an at-home parent is sick, there is no quick phone call to the office, no movies and medicine and sleeping it off while the kids go to daycare as usual. On a typical “at home sick day,” there isn’t even much sitting down.

When the kids are sick, the calming and soothing and rocking and coaxing them to take medication is 24 hour task, inter-spliced with tons of distraction and redirection. In an effort not to spread the disease, there are no parks, no library, no swimming pool, no playmates. Not even a grocery store run!

This has been our situation for essentially 3 weeks, with a brief reprieve between my illness and theirs.

Having not spoken to another adult for more than 5 minutes in all this time… Honestly… I have almost nothing to say here. Nothing that won’t sound like major whining.

A message of woe is me is not what I’d like to send out into the world. Instead, I’ll post a gratitude picture, inspired by the Raising Happiness Blog. Though it may feel hokey (and a bit forced when difficult weeks wear a person down), practicing gratitude is one of the surest paths to happiness.

In the words for Forest Church, “Want what you have; do what you can; be who you are.”

In the spirit of wanting what I have, I’m grateful for a four-year-old with an indomitable spirit. She has barely complained a bit, in spite of her hurt and isolation.

She’s finally off the couch (just in time for her brother’s first spots to appear), and well enough to start playing doctor! Always a good sign. Though every now and then she lays down wherever she is and cries that she needs another band-aid.

I’m also grateful for

  • the blooming field lilies, almost a month early. Cheery orange explosions brightening the path to our backyard oasis.
  • coffee, richly flavored, warm, and energizing,
  • date night, unlikely though it is, we managed to have a nice evening last night!
  • good books (read in 10 minute increments). 
  • and a crafty girl, my healthy oldest, spending the day sewing, drawing, sculpting, and generally putting her free time to impressive use.

Hopefully, some time today, I’ll even steal a little time for flash fiction, with this cool new Fictioneers project (yes, I know it’s not Friday). I found the link thanks to a writer’s group I’m working with (online only, but eventually I’ll get to a meeting….when I’m sure I won’t spread the plague!).

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