Healthy and Spirited

Bee had her first real fever this week, full of sweats and chills and cuddles. I’ve never experienced her this sick before — this helpless. Bee has always been an extraordinarily independent child. Green lights and laced sneakers and fast cars. But today, a fever.

We’ve been monitoring it closely with frequent temperature readings and water refills and TV reruns, and she’s been on profoundly good behavior — too sick to cause general mayhem. And my mind keeps wandering to my pregnancy, when I prayed daily for a healthy, spirited baby.


I didn’t want a girl. I didn’t want a boy. I didn’t want a toehead. I didn’t want a rocket scientist. I didn’t want a flute player.

I wanted a healthy, spirited baby.

When Bee’s health is good and her spirits are high, there are many hiccups in our day: pouring the dog water over her head, flushing crayons down the toilet, duct taping our shoes together. And I sometimes find myself praying for something else: peace and quiet. Serenity. A calmer day.

This morning, there is no mayhem. There is peace and quiet as Bee curls up to watch another show, achy and feverish. There is no spilled dog water to mop up, no crayons to fish from the toilet. Not a duct tape roll in sight. It is serene. Our day is calm.

And it is the worst.

I want a healthy, spirited baby. I want my healthy, spirited baby — the one that wreaks havoc on my furniture, my clothes, my schedule. The one that I prayed for — daily — during my pregnancy. The one that I’m so lucky to have.

Mothers, our days are far from calm in this season of early parenthood. They are chaotic and messy and crazed.

But our babies are healthy.

And our days are spirited.

And I am grateful.


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