A noise jolts you awake in the early hours of the morning. You struggle to listen and then remember the child that you put to bed with a fever. In a fog you stumble down the hall to the bathroom where you find your child, looking drawn and drained. You get the thermometer and sit down to wait. 102.9 degrees. Too high. Way too high. The tub won't fill fast enough as you frantically begin pouring warmish water on the child.
"Are you cold? Is it making you shiver?", you ask.
"No," the child mumbles, giving you a sad, but grateful look.
In a bit you return to your bed. The fever had spiked higher, but with some medicine and rest you're hopeful it has turned around. As you climb under the covers your husband turns and sleepily says, "Happy Birthday".
You sigh. You'd planned to spend the morning eating pastries and drinking coffee with the neighbor ladies while your youngest was at preschool. Then maybe you'd sit and read the novel you've been yearning to finish. And certainly it would be a day of no chores. Or few chores at the least. But plans change. And oddly, you're okay with it. 'God has something else in store for my day', you think. That thought comforts you.
Later as your sick child rests on the couch, you stand and stroke her hair.
"Hey, you get to spend all day with me on my birthday," you say. "If you weren't sick you'd have been at school instead. How lucky am I!"
Your child turns and gives you a weak smile.
"It's a good birthday," you say. And you mean it.