My phone rang. The daycare was calling. Both E and G woke up from their naps with fevers. I scrambled to leave work early, to take them home. We left L, the healthy in the middle, to finish out her day at school.
Both sickies were miserable. They moaned and sniffled and comforted each other. I drove, and hoped that keeping L separate would keep her from falling ill, too.
|Across their absent sister's empty seat, a bowl of fruit and a desperately-needed tissue box, E & G held hands the whole way home.|
E moaned and writhed in her sleep. G whimpered and needed to be held. The night went on forever, two feverish children and one we watched for sickness.
The longest night ended and the shortest day came. Diagnoses: bronchitis and bronchitis with ear infection. Copays and prescriptions. Gratitude for illnesses that are fleeting, and that I don't have to manage alone. Gratitude for the reminder that after the longest night, shorter nights will come.
And now we're on the other side. The kids are sleeping without whimpers or night sweats. We're almost back to health. And we get to enjoy more light again.