The boys are sleeping.
Limerick turns restlessly on his crib, mutters into the darkness, settles himself back down with his bottle of water.
Rondel lies curled up against the back cushions of the couch, pillow beneath him, blanket kicked aside, breathing quiet and small in the darkness.
And I hope that as they sleep they are healing, so that when they wake the pain and fatigue will be gone, and their normal energetic exuberance can resurface.
When the normal pattern of our life involves hours spent running and climbing and laughing outside, days in a row snuggled up on couches, dozing on and off, quiet and slow, feel foreign and strange. When bright eyes are dull and weary, when little faces are pale, when active limbs are still and calm, nothing seems right.
And I think to myself, this is only a stomach bug, and they’re going to be better in a few days, and however do mothers cope when this becomes a new normal, and sickness buries its talons into a family? How do they not break with the pain of it, loving so deeply and being so horribly unable to stop the hurting and restore health and energy to their baby? It takes my breath away, how lucky I am, how many good cards I’ve drawn in this game of life; and if it were all to fall apart, would my faith hold firm? I hope that it would, but I pray that such a test will never come.