I am a prisoner in my child’s room. I have a pallet to sleep on, and occasionally I get breaks to go to the bathroom, shower, and eat, thanks to my husband. Otherwise, my responsibilities have shrunk to dozing on the pallet, listening to my daughter’s whimpers and cries, and holding a plastic pan or towel in front of her mouth while she vomits. Her smiles and laughter have been replaced by piteous frowns and moans, and I am helpless to provide any real relief. All we can both do is wait it out.
I am numbed by this latest in a series of minor and major crises. I feel like Ground Zero in an assault of viruses, ear infections, funerals, trips to the emergency room, and emotional upheavals.
“Why me?” I ask. “What did I do to deserve such punishment?”
But I know the answer by now. We are always besieged by trials, from the tragic to the trivial. Some of them are of our own creation, some of them are not. Good things happen, too, though, usually we have to reach into our magic hats and pull them out like rabbits. Still, as I lay imprisoned by my child’s tummy bug (the sixth one in our family this year), I realize that this is just one more thing to slow me down, not stop me in my tracks.
I may be frustrated by being forced to slow down and take care of a sick child; I may even be overwhelmed by it. But I am not defeated by it. My horoscope (which I read purely out of boredom while my little darling slept) suggests that real success involves overcoming by obstacles. So I might as well take the hint and keep on keeping on.
Copyright © 2005 by Allyson Denise Walker-Lawrence. All rights reserved. No part of this piece may be reproduced in any form, written or electronic, without the permission of the author.