Snuggling Always Helps

Originally published Tuesday, 24 March 2015.

I expect I'll start vomiting within the next few hours.

Our eldest came down with something 48 hours ago: a debilitating bug which has emptied her in every way, and she is limp and pale in her Daddy's arms. We thought perhaps it was something she had eaten, but tonight after dinner our son stood up from dinner, and promptly divested himself of the evening's meal.

This means it's a bug, and since I've been doing the mopping of brows and floors, the bug is likely coming for me. But it's not here yet, and so for now when my son asked if I could please lie down with him as he went to sleep, I said yes. Of course. Yes, I will stay with you.

"What did you do today?" my husband asked when he got home.

"I took the kids to the doctor, and then I sat with them on the couch and read my book while they watched shows."

On a different day, a day of reading-on-the-couch while my kids watched TV might have felt like a terrible mommy fail - especially since it's the first day of Spring Break and the weather outside is glo.ri.ous. But today, sitting quietly on the couch with my daughter tucked under my wing was the best way I could love her as she drifted in and out of sleep. It was a gift to be present.

Half an hour after my boy suffered the first wave of the virus' onslaught, it was his turn to curl up close. I rubbed his back as he pressed his head into my chest, listening as his breathing slowed.

"Snuggling always helps," he whispered, moments before sleep took him.

Snuggling always helps. Yes. It does.

I can't answer my daughter's question of why this is happening to her, nor can I tell her how long it will last. But I can assure her I am nearby and that I love her, which is, come to think of it, just exactly the comfort God gives me when I'm bent double, weak and weeping. Though you pass through the waters, I will be with you, says Isaiah 43:2.

The presence of One who Loves us makes all the difference.

Just like my boy said: snuggling always helps. 

This post originally appeared here.