Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Really Good Story. The Best.


Both of our kids are sick. The eldest is coming down from a feverish few days. The youngest is just riding the first wave of it. Let me tell you a little story from this evening.

My wife was out at writer's group and I was home watching the television after having put the girls to bed. Stephanie came home and while we were talking, we heard odd noises from upstairs. The cat? Our eldest coughing again? We turned off the sound on the television and listened. Then we heard movement upstairs. Stephanie went up to check.

I followed a few moments later, curious what was up. I walked in on Stephanie talking to our youngest who, I suspect, was still asleep even though she was talking. She does that sometimes, especially when she is sick and very tired. I couldn't get much of the story, but I figured Stephanie had it under control. She always has it under control. I don't know how she does that.

The only thing I could think to do was go get the thermometer. I'm a numbers guy. Our youngest's fever was down, but that could have been due to the dose of Tylenol I had given her prior to bed. Stephanie kept talking to her, checking her over carefully. There wasn't anything there for me to do.

Our eldest was clearly awake in her room so I went in to visit with and check on her. She told me that she had gone in to check on her little sister when she heard the crying. I hugged and thanked her. She's an awfully good girl. Quietly spectacular in just this kind of way. She talked about how she was feeling warm and itchy. She's been having these mysterious bites or something on her leg. Not sure what that's all about. I hugged her again, said goodnight, and told her that her mother would check on her in a moment.

Can you tell we will be going to the doctor's office tomorrow?

Stephanie got the youngest tucked back in, went in to check on the eldest, and then came down to see me. She told me a fuller story of how one girl had checked on the other, taken care of her until Mom could arrive, and I could see how filled with wonder Stephanie is about these two people she has created. I could tell how worried she is too and how much their pain causes her pain. It's the typical legend of mothers, that they live and die with their children.

Like most every legend, it is completely true in a way that goes far, far beyond fact and science. I don't believe in God, but I believe in this and really, is there a need for anything more?

Now, as I type, Stephanie has gone upstairs to be closer to their bedrooms, to listen in on their needs and conditions. I'll join her soon and there is a role for me to play in all of this. I'm not minimizing the part of the father in this long-running play. It's just that this go round it's not about me and that's going to have to be okay with everyone else because it's just fine with me.

Both of our kids are sick and that needs to stop. As I said, we'll take them to the doctor tomorrow and see what's what. We will keep our eyes and ears on them tonight, tomorrow, and every day going forward until there are no more. I like the sound of that: _We_ will keep our eyes and ears on them. That's the other part of this story. They know who their Mom is. And they know too who their Dad is. They'll come to learn more every day who their parents are together. If the show comes off as it should, they will expect good things from their own relationships and know how to make that happen. They will have dreams of happiness and security that they will simply expect to have fulfilled. They will grow beyond needing their parents in the night but not beyond love. Yeah, it's a pretty good show we're in here.

The calendar is about to turn over. The Mayan prophecies were, as expected, complete bunk. There's a fiscal cliff ahead and all sorts of problems in the world. And our kids are sick, but they will get better if for no other reason than the deep and abiding loving care given them by their mother. That's all that really matters. That's all that ever matters.

Well, that and the lovely fact that the story continues. Write on.