About three-quarters of the way through the grocery store, Micah started complaining of a stomach ache. “I have to go poopies, Mommy,” he whined, doubling over the steering wheel of the blue police car cart I swore I’d never drive again after this incident.
“Okay, Baby. Jonathan, can you take Micah to the bathroom?” I asked, secretly thankful that I have a child old enough to escort his younger sibling to the bathroom so I don’t have to drive those carts any farther than necessary.
Jonathan gladly trotted down the aisle with Micah at his heels. Two minutes later, Jonathan was back, face pale and eyes big. Micah was nowhere in sight. “Mom!” Jonathan gasped. “Micah just threw up all over the bathroom!”
Sure enough, Micah was standing in the middle of the men’s bathroom covered in all the loveliness of the stomach flu. I cleaned him up as best I could, summoned a poor pock-faced boy with a bucket mop who looked at me like I had just ruined his life, snagged four dozen organic eggs, then rushed home before Micah could use the double grocery bags we gave him to hold under his mouth in case of a repeat incident.
The stomach flu is like Ground Zero for Mommyhood. Is there anything worse? Of course there are worse things but I don’t want to talk about it right now because my kids have the stomach flu and I just know all those germs are crawling all over me and I hate throwing up like nothing else in all the world.
Allow me a moment to feel sorry for myself.
I feed my kids well, make sure they get plenty of sleep, smear all kinds of oils on their feet and noses and chests, dole out vitamins like a pharmacist, mix up kefir and kombucha and sprouted things for their benefit…and still. The stomach flu.
This, on top of our nearly six-week bout with strep, makes me feel defeated. How can a healthy family be so unhealthy?! I swear, we’re allergic to Texas.
Of course, I do not maintain a healthy lifestyle so that we don’t ever get sick. (It’s a good thing, too, since there’s a pretty good chance we have the plague). I remind myself of that as I switch loads of sheets in the wash.
I maintain a healthy lifestyle because I believe it is the best way to care for the little bodies God has given me. It is the best way I can ensure they are physically able to live up to the potential God has for them.
It is my gift to their adulthood.
I believe I can nourish them now so they can better live life better later, without the complications that result from an unhealthy lifestyle.
By God’s grace, my children will have a healthy relationship with food, an appetite and appreciation for real ingredients and whole foods, solid immune systems, an understanding of the cycle of sickness, and a knowledge of natural remedies. They will have strong bodies and clear minds. They will know how to make healthy choices on their own, and they will understand why it is so important to do so.
They will come down with stuff. They are kids, after all, and kids smear all the germs on all the stuff and then put all the stuff in their mouths. It’s amazing any of them survive.
Sickness is just part of the deal, and that’s okay because I am confident that God has made their bodies well, and l believe that in most instances, their bodies can heal themselves if given the rest and resources they need.
I no longer fear the symptoms. Symptoms, like the stomach flu, are a gift. Usually, they are an indication that my child’s body is doing what it was designed to do: to protect, defend, and heal. Symptoms alert me to the fact that I need to come alongside them and provide the right resources so they are most equipped to overcome the problem.
Usually, it works very, very well. Even our six-weeks of strep was not as bad as it sounds. None of us developed the high temperatures or sore throats associated with the infection. Only one of my children ended up needing antibiotics. The rest of us were cured with homeopathic remedies including a dragon-breath concoction of raw honey, raw garlic, cayenne, and Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. Zowie!
Even our current epidemic has hit a bit of a lull already. Micah’s body fought the stomach flu in record time. He rested all afternoon and was back to normal by evening. Paul got it next, in the middle of the night last night, and was well enough to eat me out of house and home for breakfast.
Maybe someone else will get it before dinner. Maybe not. It doesn’t really matter (the washing machine is nearly caught up) because I don’t do this so we won’t ever get sick.
I do this because I know it’s the very best way to live.
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