Dear Eleanor and Wesley,
This weekend was a mile marker of just how much things have changed since you two have arrived. Let’s rewind the clock to the days of our young matrimony, when it was just your Mom and I. I get sick. Your mother tends to my every need. All I see are smiles. Every sound is soothing and drenched with sympathy. Back to the present day. I recently had to break it to your Mom that at 103 degrees, I would be bedridden for the day. Quarantine was immediately imposed from you children. Just as before, every need was tended to. Upon her exit I said “I love you.” Her response, “I’m going to leave before I throw this shoe at you.”
Let me be clear. This is far more than I deserve. Without your Mom’s incredible love and devotion this weekend all of us would have fallen ill and probably succumb to what turned out to be a 24 hour flu. That’d be a dumb way to go. However, the point still stands that things have changed. Here is the categorical shift. Before, the sick one of us used to have the short end of the stick. Being sick is aweful. However, lovingly caring for an almost four year old child and a six month old baby for an entire day alone is enveloping. Stack on top of that the care of a temporarily, yet thoroughly useless father figure and you’ve got a bad draw. It is much more difficult to be the healthy one. Now your Mom accomplished this feat of loving all of us on this day, not without great effort, but certainly with an astonishing amount of grace. As you read this, whatever you think about your Mom right now, she deserves way more credit than we give her. It’ll probably be a lot of years before that really clicks.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve become morally confused at this point, Ellie caught the 24 hour bug that night. Having been the sick one, I was charged with nursing you back to health. This was a great deal. It was terrible to see you sick. But it did mean that for 24 hours straight we were glued at the hip. Let me tell you, you are incredible as a mildly sick person. This is the first time in your entire life that you have taken a break of sufficient length to be described as chill. We watched movies. We mixed, baked, ate a million iPad cookies. You even snuggled for multiple minutes at a time, content just to be there and ride this thing out. I love all the things we typically do together, like running, leaping, spinning, dancing, goal-scoring, pirating, swinging, flipping, cart-wheeling and sets of wind sprints. I hated that you had sit a day out from being regular you. Though, the experience reminded me how even in tough times, being your Dad through the struggle is special.