Well, the past 6 weeks or so have been a fog of sickness for the Hall household as in that time we’ve had a total of four rounds of strep throat, one ear infection with tonsillitis, and two rounds of stomach bug. Germs, be gone! Also, in that time we’ve had vacation, major flooding, and a trip to Somerset. Some might argue that our life is never what would be termed normal, but we do have a normal of sorts, and I’m ready to get back to it! Somehow, though, in the midst of all the chaos, we have had a few sweet and funny moments that have helped us cope with a very weary and discouraging little chapter of life.
* Elisabeth and Samuel were talking at the table one day about foods that they like. They got to the topic of vegetables. Elisabeth asked Samuel what his favorite vegetable is. His reply: “My faborite vegetable is grapes.” Her answer: “My favorite vegetable is an egg.” Guess we need to add nutrition to our study course.
* I was walking behind Samuel on the stairs one day which can be a slow and agonizing process, especially if I’m carrying something or someone. We had finally made it almost to the top when he just stopped cold. “Come on, buddy!” I said urgently, as I was about to drop whatever my load was that day. “Just a minute, Mom,” he said. “I gotta get my ookie.” Then, “Ok, Mom, I got my ookie.” He has since repeated that at least two more times, on the phone with Nanny, and talking with his daddy. First things first, right?
* Elisabeth was very upset, and claiming that “It feels like nobody loves me except you and Daddy!” (Now, her tears were coming so easily because she had stayed up until 9:00 the night before, but she has heard her sister pull the “Nobody loves me” card and decided to try it out.) I told her that wasn’t true, and she said–wailed–“But I asked Abigail if she loves me and she said, ‘You know I do!'” I was slightly confused, and pointed out that that means Abigail does in fact love her sister. Her crying intensified and she said, “But Mommy, I didn’t know that! I’ve never done this before!!” Somehow keeping my laughter inside, I said, “Done what? Cry?” “This!!” she wailed, pointing to her face. “Feel like nobody loves me!!” I guess if you’re going to mimic your drama queen older sister, it would help to get instructions first, especially if you’ve never done this before.
* Catherine, after her round of stomach bug earlier this week, was finally released from the bedroom when we thought it was safe. “I’m all better?” she asked hopefully. “I think so,” I said, praying it was true. “Then I can go anywhere in the house now and not just stay in your room?” “Yep.” “Hooray!” she cried and then bounded up the stairs. “Where are you going?” I called after her. “Back to your room to finish coloring,” she answered.
* Then there were just the sweet moments, like watching Silas finally accomplish several milestones all at once: getting from his belly to a sitting position, crawling, and pulling up to a standing position. And playing Careers with my two older girls after raiding Nanny’s closet of some of my old games. And–sweet but heartwrenching–spending the morning in bed with my poor Samuel helping him through his round of stomach bug. I heard him cough and whipped the bowl up in front of him in about 1 1/2 seconds, only for him to push it away and say, “No, no! I don’t want to spit in that bowl again!” Poor thing, he’s never thrown up before and it’s been traumatizing. Guess it would be kind of scary when you had no idea what was happening to you! And there have been several sweet moments with my growing little lady, watching Abigail mature before our very eyes as she acted like a perfect lady most of the weekend and has been practicing self-control like never before over the past little bit. So precious to watch what appears to be the Holy Spirit at work in her heart, giving more evidence that her broken-hearted prayer back in March may have indeed been genuine. It’s difficult at times helping her naviagate the deep and troubling waters of growing up, and her hurts and confusions pull my heart in new places as she figures out her place in this world of friends who sometimes say mean things on purpose and grownups who sometimes stomp on feelings unintentionally. But she is changing, becoming less like the old Abigail and more like a new Abigail, and that is probably the sweetest thing of all right now.
So God is good to give us moments like these during a frustrating few weeks. We’re praying for His mercy to keep anyone else from getting sick, and for His grace to help us keep walking in joy regardless. But we are so thankful for these sweet, funny mercies that He has given us in the meantime.