Last night looked promising, with a quiet house and the last kid bedded at 10 pm. My eyes were wide open and I did laundry, read a book, then finally became sleepy by 2 am. Just as I cozy up to my pillow, there are sounds of a sick child in the other room (Mom radar says: Carter. Top Bunk. Vomit.)
I leap out of bed, like Elastigirl in fast forward, one hand reaches into the bathroom to swipe a washcloth as the other hand flips on the hall light, and I am at his side. Poor baby. Bathtime. Cleanup. Sheets, pillows, blankets folded up in one big wad down to the basement laundry. Start the load and basket up the clean clothes out of the dryer. Gray wakes and giggles at the middle-of-the-night excitement. All three of us have a party watching cartoons and folding laundry. 3 am passes us by.
At morning, all are miraculously sleeping and I assess that no one will be going to school. I make the necessary call and see hubby off to work in my car as his decided not to start today. As he pulls out of the garage I reach longingly and yearn... no Starbucks...
With all three boys home, there was no window for a Mommy nap. Instead, delirium kicked in and I caught up on all the laundry, made soup, read a book, played mom, and baked pumpkin seeds. All on maybe 4 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours. If that.
I read the sad story of another mother this afternoon and I wonder if she knows all too well the midnight steamy bathroom remedy for her baby's barky cough. Or the sweet half-asleep chatter, as you kneel beside the bathtub in the middle of the night and your son says I love you Mommy and Thank you for taking care of me. The wrenching of your heart in the most tender corner, twisting with hurt for how much you'd do absolutely anything for your child to be ok. To know he's loved. And that you will always be there to take care of him.
Or the feeling that a hundred days of no sleep is worth even just one moment of this marvelous thing called Motherhood.
Cross posted at The Chicago Moms Blog.