My son was sick with a stomach bug for nearly a week. I have a perniciously invasive case of medical anxiety when it comes to my children, and my mind immediately skips to the worst case scenarios. I fret over every symptom; I creep into their rooms to confirm they are breathing; I wring my hands; I feel useless; I find myself imagining the logistics if a trip to the E.R. is necessary. I have learned how to gate-keep my worries in most other areas of life, but illness, when it visits my children — it undoes me. During my son’s recent sickness, I performed sunshine in his presence but immediately clouded over when out of view. My husband reassured me. My mother reassured me. My sister reassured me. Our pediatrician reassured me. And still, I was overcast with worry. One afternoon midway through my son’s malaise, my husband took me in his arms and told me, in chipper and then gentle terms, that I needed to snap out of it. I resisted, turning my cheek, feeling instead a lump form in my throat. He sighed as if to let me know he was disappointed, but then let me be, affording me a wide berth.
As the afternoon wore on, his upbeat, then quiet, entreaty on this matter opened me up to the possibility of looking on the brighter side of things. His insistence that our son would be OK made me feel as though I could release my grip a bit. I slowly thawed. I apologized to my husband for my foul humor. He gave me a look that said: “I’m so glad you’re back,” and then brushed it off. I returned to the business of caring for our boy with more pleasantness. When he threw up on me in the middle of the night for the third night in a row, I felt only determination to make him comfortable and clean rather than the dizzying spiral of anxiety.
We have made it through. My son is now returned to me, toilet jokes and yogurt-crusted-cheeks and all. (Funny, what you miss when your children are not themselves.) My husband remains the even keel to my emotional wake. But a small, oblique learning from this experience, borrowing the well-formed language from a quote I found on Instagram: “maturity in a relationship is not expecting to always be on the same schedule. you are not always going to feel good at the same time. one may need more rest than the other, one may need more time to heal.” Amen to this, amen to my husband’s patience, amen to his valiant attempt to cheer me up and then generous retreat in order to give me the space to digest.
+Musings on my daughter’s recovery from double ear infections.
+My husband has given me the world.
+Cute wide-leg white jeans.
+Clever under sink organization.
+These personalized pencil boxes are SO cute.
+Martha’s wildly popular short sleeved puffer vest is available in tons of colors!
+Staud’s recent collab with NB is epic. I love this coat.
+MZ Wallace vibes for $25.
+Sweet personalized sketch pad!
+These gingham mary janes for girls are too cute.
+Chic windbreaker to throw on over a workout look.
+Obsessed with the color of these Levis.