What is worse than a long night of being sick, coughing and lying awake? It’s a long night of my children taking ill; their foreheads, necks, backs and armpits hot with fever and their feet cold. Measuring out paracetamol for them to take every four hours. Sitting by them at the dining table, long after the meal was finished, to oversee them ingest every last drop of their antibiotics and other medicines.
Here’s another poem I wish to share. It’s not an old one, I wrote it as a mother who faced long nights of taking care of a sick child, with my husband.
Long, Long Night by Cym
Too soon, it arrives. The inevitable.
Like the sunset, but dull and pale.
Like storm clouds, dark and gray,
rolling in anxiety, rain and gale.
More than unpleasant… Bone-tired.
More than inconvenient… Soul-weary.
Chest constriction. Shallow breaths.
Unwanted visitors: Illness and worry.
Temperature rising. Spirits sinking.
Exhausted parents, but cannot sleep.
The longest night, the shortest patience.
Desperate prayers and sighs so deep.
Gazing out the window, where the sun
would rise and announce daybreak.
Hoping that time and medicine’d work.
Hoping that the fever, too, would break.
When at last, red-orange tints the horizon;
street lights turn off as the sky lightens.
Oh, what magic rest does for a sick body!
As relief floods, the future brightens.
A future of sleep, as the little one plays.
A prayer of thanks; not take health for granted.
Oh, what magic rest does for a sick spirit!
Slumber came when the sun’s rays slanted.
It’s about worry, not to mention guilt, and the relief I feel when my kids finally get well. And then I thank the Lord. At last, I can sleep peacefully.
In the drawing I made, the mother is looking out the window; her tense shoulders and her grip on her elbow display her anxiety. She’s probably praying and waiting for hope and sunrise.
Moms, can you relate with my poem or the sketch?
And, how do you make sure your children are protected from sickness?