"I'll be home at lunch babe," he said as he rubbed my back, looking worried.
"I'll be okay. I'll just put on a movie for them," I said as I ran to the bathroom to throw up my Gatorade breakfast. I wanted to believe that I would be fine. I'm a mom. I'm tough. I've got this. Except I didn't have it at all.
The barrage of requests from my kids was overwhelming. They were hungry and the sight of food was repulsive. They wanted to chase each other and movement made me nauseous to watch. I finally turned on the movie, hoping for stillness. Our new lab puppy, Charlie, wanted none of it. He worked his way through the living room chewing up markers, the couch, the rug and any kids toy he could find. Each time, I would need to get up and give him one of his toys.
I laid back down, closed my eyes and suddenly felt a poke in the eye. "Wake up, Mommy!" My two year old yelled. "No sweep! Great movie, Mommy. You wake up."
"Honey, mommy is tired and sick. I need to close my eyes. You enjoy the movie, baby girl."
Tears flowed. "No sweep, Mommy! It scary! Hold me up?"
I gave up and texted my mom an SOS. I asked her to come after lunch when my husband went back to work and she quickly agreed.
My husband arrived home with soup, crackers and movies. I fell into his chest for a hug, grabbed my loot and headed for the bedroom to sleep.
When I woke up three hours later, I found him working on the lanai with a pool full of our kids and neighbors. I watched from the living room for a few minutes as he fielded emails and phone calls, watched the kids' "cool tricks" and grabbed a wayward water wing out of the puppy's mouth. He seemed to balance it all seamlessly and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I opened the door. "Hey babe! I thought mom was coming so that you could get back to work?"
"I told her to go home. I wanted to take care of you." It's no wonder I love this man.
A few days later, my oldest son said to my husband, "Daddy, I love that you are the kind of Daddy that stays with us when Mommy is sick. Instead of going back to work, you took care of all of us. I love that." My husband and I looked at each other and smiled. He had not only given me everything I needed and more, he had taught our son an invaluable lesson. Family first. I hope it's one that he never forgets.
Is there something that you need help with this week? Don't be too tough - Ask for the help you need and watch what happens. Receive graciously. By doing so, you will be giving and receiving a gift.