In a feat of great willpower and self-discipline, I finished all of my grading yesterday. (Four days before Spring Break ends and classes resume, nonetheless!) To celebrate, I stayed up too late to finish a book and watch a movie.
I turned into bed half-past midnight, still wired. An hour later I found myself intermittently glancing at the red glow of the alarm clock. In another half hour, I was performing mathematical calculations that went along the lines of, "If I fall asleep in exactly twenty-three minutes and the girls don't wake until 6:30, then I still can get four hours and seven minutes of sleep. I can handle that."
The variable I hadn't calculated in my late-night equation was the stomach flu -- or more specifically, how two-thirds of my offspring would vomit at half-hour increments until the break of dawn.
At the first cry I had sprung out of bed, only fully realizing what was happening when I stepped in a puddle beside my daughter's bed. (Two-year-olds unfortunately have no aim when it comes to throwing up.)
Utter sensory overload followed. Not to mention, approximately 17 loads of laundry, 42 aggressively-thorough antibacterial hand-washings, and a half-dozen Lord, please spare me prayers.
And He has. Despite the lack of sleep and the brief moments when I've wanted to crumple to the ground, I'm holding together with God's grace. After all, this is what mothers must do -- to hold together when everything is running amuck.
Clean sheets are back on each bed. The girls are bathed and napping. The stuffed animals who had been in the line of fire last night have been run through the rinse cycle.
And my husband, who still is traveling this week for work, has texted me his condolences.
I know that we'll make it through. As for tonight? My reward will be a bedtime that's reasonable.