Last year, there was no question I couldn’t attend – I was pregnant and we were PCSing (for non-military folk, it’s when the Army moves you from one post to a new post). There was just no way I could even consider it, but I vowed that this year would be my year.
After traveling quite horribly at Christmas, I couldn’t muster to purchase a Blissdom ticket and travel all over again that way. I missed out, greatly, which fueled my fire even further for attending BlogHer this weekend. Especially after attending the Disney Mom Bloggers Mixer in May, and meeting bloggy friends in real life. I could not wait to meet more.
It simply wasn’t meant to be this year, either, despite my best attempts to get me there.
My last post reflected it was merely my toddler being sick. Unfortunately it got worse shortly thereafter. By 3am Wednesday morning, it also become my five-year-old, who was vomiting without a fever, and continued to throughout the day every time he attempted to put something in his belly. He slept on and off yesterday as mommy paced, unsettled, about leaving both of them. Fever medication helped my toddler, who threw up no more, but barely helped the roaring headache my five-year-old felt.
My husband came home at 3pm to encourage me further to go, that he could handle it. I knew he could handle it, of course, he is a wonderful father. It was so hard to consider leaving my two sick children behind (as well as my three well children, of course), all who were upset by my leaving, because I am their primary caretaker, the boo-boo kisser, the booger wiper. But I had to have faith that, even if I wasn’t there, they would be okay. Their father would see to it.
After much agonizing, the decision was made, I was going to do it because it had been the plan all along. My husband was more than capable of handling this virus. This had been many months in the making. I swallowed the lump in my throat, knowing it would rear it’s ugly head later by sobbing in the car at my departure, but I carried on, full speed ahead. In a fury of clothes, agendas, ziploc baggies and travel-sized toiletries, I began stuffing, folding, mashing and contorting my items into a suitcase for me and my baby dude.
Meanwhile there was the debate about how to get me to Houston, 3+ hours away, considering he could no longer drive me with sick kids in tow. So while I packed and stuffed and crammed parts of my life into a soft-shell suitcase, he unpacked, and unstuffed and uncrammed parts of his from his beater of a car, a stick shift, a black, peeling 99 Ford, to get me and the baby to the conference.
I zippered the last zipper, and piled it by the door. Bags were packed. Directions to the hotel printed. We were saying our goodbyes. Just as we put things into the car and were about to depart, I leaned in to get the baby from my husband that I felt it – he was hot- burning up hot. All this time I spent preparing, I never once met with his eyes to see they were glassy, and calling for me, much like his sister and brother did earlier. I knew it the second I saw him, he was also sick. I immediately scooped him up and laid him on the changing table, and, like his siblings, took his temperature. 102.
I looked at my husband. We both exhaled as though we were balloons deflating after a canceled birthday party. The air was let out of us simultaneously. All that work, the hustle and worry behind it all, gone with a beep of a thermometer that read 3 degrees too high.
There is no way I can attend the conference without my breastfeeding youngest, who I was to bring so that I could attend and he could still eat. Since he now had a 102 fever, there was no way I could fly with him sick, or attend sessions or parties, and risk getting him even further sick, it just wasn’t even an option. This child hasn’t ever even had a fever this high before.
Despite thinking we had the situation under control and solved, it appears fate was really the one in control of what I could and couldn’t do. Next year will be my year, I guess.
Here I sit, bags still packed, ziploc baggies unearthed, delved into for this or that item needed, my laptop (obviously) unpacked, fever medication administered, coffee brewing, and a heavy but yet grateful heart. Heavy at missing the chance to connect and hang with my bloggy friends for a weekend, and to have to cancel these plans. Heavy because they weren’t only my plans, but my family’s as well, as it was their plan to join me at weekend’s end after the conference ended to sight-see in Chicago and visit family in South Bend. Grateful because we were lucky to have been presented with his fever before we’d even left the house. Grateful it didn’t happen when we were already away from home in Houston, or even worse, on the plane, or in Chicago.
It will be bittersweet unpacking later, just as it will be seeing any tweets about BlogHer or blog posts, knowing I have missed out on meeting my friends this time, again. Just as it was bittersweet in answering the door just now to receive my husband’s replacement credit card he would’ve need for the trip. But I will do it with my head held high, knowing that I did the right thing.
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