On Sunday afternoon, when my fasting was over, I was struck with how absolutely delicious every bite of food was. I wasn't desperately hungry when I broke my fast, but all the same it had been long enough and the food... it was sublime. Food, gorgeous, glorious food! It was like falling in love with it all over again. We don't fast in order to renew our commitment to food, but it is a wonderful blessing that comes with the practise. That cleansing of the palate reminds me of how amazing it really is to taste and to eat. It definitely raises my consciousness of what a fantastic blessing it is to be alive and to be so abundantly blessed and physically comfortable.

Yesterday morning, I was treated to the oh so invigorating Puke Wake Up Call. Within a split second a mother can go from unconscious to sprinting toward the bathroom holding a heaving kid beseeching them to hang on for just one more second. There's nothing like the smell of bleach in the morning. It's a lot better then the smell of puke in the morning though, and there's nothing like a puking episode for motivation to get your bathroom really, really clean. Yesterday the afflicted was poor little Finny.

There are some people who are easy pukers. Puking for Aaron for instance, is no big thang. Puke 'n Go. That's him. He's a drive-thru puker.

This is not the case for me or my kids. Puking for us is literally gut wrenching, blood vessels burst, eyeballs strain at their sockets, veins in the neck bulge, death feels assuredly imminent. It is scary and painful and gross. I hate to watch my kids go through that. It is agonizing to watch their agony. In between the suffocating heaves they will often give a little desperate scream, "no I don't want!...Mommy!" and then the shrieking is stifled and back in they go. It's so dreadful, I so empathise. When they are in that post-puke euphoria (you know when the nausea lifts for a few minutes and you are so relieved to have survived the vomiting?) I generally take the opportunity to tell them that "mommy did this every day, lots of times a day in fact when she was pregnant with huh?". As I have mentioned before, I never let teaching moment pass-particularly if it is one that will make my children feel in any way in awe of or indebted to me. It's a gift I have.

So anyway, Finny had been kotching up a storm (kotch is a S. African slang term for puke, and I find it satisfyingly descriptive) all day. When I left him in Aaron's capable care as I went to work yesterday afternoon, his eyes were glazed, his skin was hot and he was staring miserably at the TV. He did not want to be touched, there was no way to comfort him. It was sad. I felt helpless. Nothing is worse then a mother who is helpless. It is the antithesis of what a mother is designed to be.

When I returned, he was in a fitful sleep, as pale as can be, restless and groaning. He woke up for a while and did more glazed, miserable staring at the TV and then he fell into a deep and finally, restful sleep. I watched him sleep peacefully with such satisfaction. I stroked his little sweaty but cool, brow. It was such a relief to see him comfortable. When he awoke with rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes and an appetite, I was thrilled. When after a little sustenance, he broke into song accompanied by a small, but vibrant seated dance, "Everybody da-yance now!-boom, boom...boom boom boom", and I knew he was back. And it was delicious.

Here he is, post restorative nap, colouring the coveted "bonus" picture Gracie received at art yesterday and lovingly bestowed upon him. My kids' loving gestures to each other are also unbelievably yummy to me.

I feel that over the course of my motherhood, I have been mindful of how fast time goes by, and I think I am doubly aware of the speed at which my children grow, because I am so far from my family and with every passing stage I am acutely aware that they have not witnessed it.

Although that part is kind of tragic, the blessing is that it has helped me to treasure and appreciate their childhood's with more relish. By virtue of being the youngest, with no baby clamouring for nursing, I have been able to enjoy Finny's babyhood and young childhood with the least distraction. I don't think a day goes by when I do not just sit and observe him in rapt amazement and delight. I am hoping that this does not set the bar too high for his dealings with women in the future, he could be in for a big disappointment.

But having him "gone" for just a few hours, his sparkling, affectionate, curious, exuberant charming spirit suppressed for just a short while, made his "coming back" all the more delightful. It reminded me of breaking a fast, except the satisfaction involved so much more then my taste buds. It reminded me how fabulously blessed I am to be the mother of such beautiful-to-the- core children. It reminded me that their good health is such a precious gift. It prompted me to soak up every moment of them being themselves with even greater appreciation.

And it showed me, once again, that for the beauties and blessings of life to be truly appreciated and even heightened, there must needs be opposition in all things indeed. (Dangit)

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The Sayer Family said...

I am so glad Finny is feeling better. We were up with Carson every single hour last night plus some. The energy of our house is so low this morning, so I really enjoyed reading your post today.

Julie said...

ROFL Puke 'n Go. I hope you all feel better soon!

Thalia said...

This is sweet and well-written. Two thumbs-up :)