Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Colour of Love

 November is my least favourite month of the year. It's cold, snowy, I have a birthday at the end of it (I'll be 29 again, thanks for asking) and the Reds get sick.

Every. single. November.

This week, it's Matthew who's down with a fever and headache, which means that soon, his brother will follow suit. Thankfully, the boys are pretty cheerful when they're not feeling well, all things considered. Matthew, for example, bounded out of (my) bed pale-cheeked, hollow-eyed but surprisingly pleasant for a kid who'd only caught an hour's sleep last night.

He was so brimming with good feelings, he set about drawing me a picture. "It's gonna be your favourite picture ever, Mummy, I promise! It's my favourite already!"

While he coloured, I traipsed up and down the stairs with laundry baskets and fretting over missing a day of placement. Even as I saw his eyes grow glassy and redden with fever, I focused on racing through household chores, determined not to waste the unexpected time in which to complete them.

Somewhere between the second load of laundry and sorting out the pots-and-pans cupboard, I was seized by guilt and drew Matthew onto my lap for a cuddle. I asked if I could see the picture he'd worked so hard on.

Wordlessly, my feverish kid offered me a gentle, beautifully-rendered reminder about what really matters:

Us: Matthew, Mark, Luke and Liz
With a lump in my throat, I thanked him for the beautiful picture and hugged him, before nudging him under a blanket while I went hunting for a frame. All great works of art deserve to be framed, I explained to him as he sagged into the pillows, suddenly exhausted.

It took me about 5 minutes to find a suitable frame. When I came back downstairs, this is what I found:

And to think, I almost missed this peaceful innocence. Thankful for the moment, I ignored the beep from the washing machine indicating that a load of laundry had finished, poured myself a fresh coffee and sat down to guard Matthew's sleep.

These are the days, my friends.

And you?
How do you deal with sick kids?
What would you draw, if you had to draw your favourite things?


  1. Liz: My son never drew these kinds of pictures. I thought all children did, but he didn't. At 13, I don't think he is going to start. You are so lucky -- and I love that you recognized it, the small gesture, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.

    Meanwhile, did you notice YOU are first in that picture? I assume that's you with the long hair. He drew you first in the line. That's otta mean something. Happy bday, Lizzie. :)

  2. What a great memory and life lesson for you and everyone smart enough to read your blog!!!

  3. Liz: I love that the strongest line, the most emphasized line in that picture is the one connecting all of you - this is a boy with his head on straight! I hope he feels better soon and his brother does not come down with it. Happy Birthday!

  4. This is something I am working on, slowing down and really being there in the moment. That truly is a work of art worth framing!