This was a rough week with illnesses, and while I felt bad for the kids and we were all exhausted and I found myself with little to no patience numerous times, a good reminder came out of it.
On Monday Number 7 was home sick.
Number 7 is pretty tough. She can tolerate a fair amount of pain, and when she complains about something, it usually means something is really bothering her.
And when she started screaming for water on Monday morning after attempting to eat something, I knew there was a problem, so I took her to see the doctor. Her throat was really sore, and it looked so bad that the nurse actually called in another nurse saying, “Come look how bad this little sweetheart’s throat is” and the doctor said, “Her ears are fine but her throat is REALLY bad.”
They thought it was strep but it wasn’t and then they thought it was mono but there’s nothing you can really do about mono, so we left the office with a prescription for steroids to help take down the swelling of her tonsils and that was about it.
Number 7 wasn’t in total agony at this point, so I took her to the grocery store and told her we’d get her some ice cream. Maybe that would help her throat.
And then we came home. She was hungry and wanted more than ice cream, so I made her some scrambled eggs cause she like those and they are soft and we sat down to eat — just the two of us — at the dining room table.
We hadn’t done that in a long time.
Last year when Number 7 was in kindergarten she had half days on Monday, and this was our lunch routine. She’d come home from school and we’d sit down together and eat before everyone else came home from school.
Number 7 was thinking the exact same thing as me, I guess.
“Mommy, remember when we used to do this when I was in kindergarten?” she asked me.
I was immediately sad and nostalgic and feeling guilty about the amount of one-on-one time we spend (or actually don’t spend) together now.
And then Number 7 with her super sore throat looked at me and said, “Mommy, this is the best day ever. I like when it’s just you and me. Can we do this again?”
Her smile was so big!
This was a wake up call for me.
We get so wrapped up in what our kids need.
Or what we think they need.
And what we think they want.
We think they need to be on not just one sports team but ALL THE SPORTS TEAMS and they need to play an instrument and they need to be in every activity.
We think they want iPhones and brand name clothes and the perfectly decorated rooms and over-the-top birthday parties.
But what they really want is you.
They want one-one-one time with you.
They need one-on-one time with you. They need your undivided attention.
Not all the time.
Your kids want — and need — consistent one-on-one time with you. It doesn’t have to be hours every day.
But it needs to be something, and for most of us, it probably needs to be more than what we are giving them now.
And it shouldn’t take the world’s worst sore throat to make that happen.