Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Count Your Blessings

This past week we had several vivid reminders to count our blessings. Frankly, we had a really tough week with a lot of sick kids. Declan was still cranky and recovering from an ear infection while Kevin and Cormac both have clogged tear ducts and look like they’ve been slimed – think of that green goo that they dump on whoever the “it” celeb is at the annual Nick Kids Awards. Not cute. Additionally, all three babies are teething which, not surprisingly, has them up at various points during the night. And at 3AM, well, I’m sorry to say, they are not too cute!

Despite sick, teething babies, things were going pretty well until I got home from work last Tuesday night to find Liam writhing on the floor, clearly in terrible pain, claiming that his head hurt. I took his temperature and it was 103. And I panicked. My formerly cool, calm and collected self instantly googled “toddler/fever/headache” and diagnosed Liam with meningitis. I would have had him in the car and on the way to the emergency room had he not chose that moment to toss up the remains of his lunch. On the living room rug. Since there was a lot of clean up to do and vomiting doesn’t seem to be a top symptom of meningitis, I headed for the washing machine instead of the ER.

Fast forward to Wednesday after work. It was like Groundhog Day except that while Liam reclined on the couch happy to watch Noggin and clearly on the road to recovery, Ciara christened me with the remains of her lunch and so, back to the washing machine I went. While three babies screamed for their bottles, Des tried to clean up dinner and I bathed a feverish, distraught little lady, I seriously wondered how we were going to make it through the night.

That’s when there was a knock on the door and three neighbors marched in, demanded babies, grabbed bottles and marched back out – promising to return the little guys after they were fed and quiet. And so they did. And so I had a chance to settle Ciara down, tuck Liam in and change out of my barf soaked clothes. I even got to have a brief chat with Des without the din and demands of our five under five. We are lucky, we thought – so very lucky to have saviors for neighbors! (As seen in photo above!)

Over the weekend, we were reminded again of just how lucky we are… we met a family at the pool who has 3 ½ year old triplets -- all born far more prematurely than our little guys and all suffering the consequences in one way or another. The parents were friendly, outgoing and appeared to be handling the challenges of their children in a truly admirable way. Seeing this family in action reminded us of the true miracle of our babies’ birth.
Last but not least, we heard yesterday that one of Liam’s best friends fell off a swing and fractured his skull. Fractured his skull. Can you imagine? The very words send a chill down my spine. Thank God, he will be ok. Although, if you’re reading this, please keep him in your prayers. And just imagine what his poor family is going through – one minute a vivacious 4 ½ year old kid with long lashes and a shy smile is happily swinging away and the next minute he’s in an ambulance with a fractured skull.

These are all good reminders that when the days are long, the nights are longer and tempers grow shorter, it’s worth taking a moment to count your blessings. We are blessed to have incredible neighbors. We are blessed that our triplets were born at 36 weeks and have no developmental delays. We are blessed that Liam and Ciara haven’t thrown up in a few days. And, while we’re at it, we are blessed that we haven’t bought a new rug for
the living room yet – our old one hides all those barf stains just fine, thank you very much.

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