Personality Profiling

Someone once said that a person's true nature is revealed when they are ill or suffering. I guess I'm a whiny, whiny wimp then.

Since my kids have all gone down in a short space of time with the same sort of illness I have put that theory to test and found it to be quite accurate. (Which, since I too caught the lurgy and dealt with it non-too stoically or cheerfully, confirms that I am indeed a whiny whiny wimp, which I'm sure comes as no surprise to anyone).

Let us now analyze all my kotching kids shall we? We shall go in the order of the lurgy striking, which coincidentally is also their birth order from youngest to eldest.

Finny-well he was pitiful but remained adorable. Finny is, and always will be charming and adorable under almost any circumstance. Even when he is throwing up or throwing a massive tantrum (provided I am in the right mood for the tantrum, if I'm not, then he is just a PITA and I will leave you to decipher that acronym). But mostly, he is adorable.

Gracie-extremely demanding and dramatic. The vomiting was a screaming affair. There was a lot of shrieking about the cruelty and injustice and unthinkable suffering. (It reminded me a bit of how I was when in labour with her in fact-she was 9lbs4oz after all).

She kept me abreast, on a moment to moment basis, of the status of her condition. "Mommeeee, it huuuuurts." Mommy I feel sick" "Mommmeeee it HUUUUUUUURTS!!!!" (put that on a loop and you have Gracie as a patient. Not so much patience as a patient. Now in her defense, once the worst was over, she lay wanly, for long periods of time, being quiet and undemanding, staring unseeingly at the Disney channel, but would put on a beleaguered face and whimper every time she was asked how she was doing, lest I foolishly have hope that she might be improving. Oh she is so my child. On the up-side, Gracie is also extremely demonstrative with love and affection and rare is a day that goes by when I am not presented with a beautifully illustrated written ode of her undying love for me. I think she would be happy if she could be locked in an eternal embrace with me. She can't ever get enough of the hugging. Gracie is passionate, and she makes her needs known. I think she will be probably end up lucky, and happy, in love.

Gabe-Gabriel. An aptly named child. He is an angel, really. When I went to pick him up from school yesterday morning (after I got that dreaded call from the office), he looked at me with an ashen face and said, "I'm pretty sure I'm not going to puke". When we got home and the puking seemed more imminent, he asked me urgently if we could "say a prayer". Before each puking episode as he started feeling more and more sick he would ask me to say a prayer. We said quite a few prayers over the puke bowl, and even though there was no miraculous cessation of the puking as they were said, he seemed to derive comfort from them each time.

Gabe's default response is, "Good" whenever he is asked how he is doing. He could be mid-puke and gasp, "Good!" to a "how are you doing?" Hence, of all my kids, it is Gabe to whom I am probably the most solicitous when ill. Funny how that works. This morning, as I slept off the effects of dealing with sick kids all night, he got up (even though he knew he was not going to school,) to wake up Gracie so she would not be late for school. She did not appreciate that. But I did. His father's child, that one.

Benjamin-Quietly dramatic. He was also very verbal in recounting what had happened to him in the time that we were upstairs, caring for Gabe, but was not resentful at all that we had unwittingly been absent for his big moment at the porcelain throne. He just wanted to make sure we knew the exact details of how it had all gone down (or in his case, come up). In his periods of fever induced delirium last night, he would mutter things like, "it has to be perfect, it all has to be perfect". Ah yes, my little OCD mini-me. Fortunately his tendencies seem to have resulted in him being an overachiever, rather then in making him neurotic and insane, as they have me.

So there ya have it. The Puke Personality Profile of each of my four cherished children. Fascinating times. And you thought it was all just bleach and endless loads of laundry.

While sort of on the subject, ok not really at all on the subject, but I need some sort of graceful segue... last night while in bed, I realized that I had not yet done my scripture reading for the day. I was too tired from my nursing duties, to go downstairs to retrieve my scriptures, but Aaron had a hymn book handy so I decided that this would suffice, under the circumstances. I told him that I would consider whatever page I opened on to be a personalized message for me. The hymnbook opened to: "Improve the Shining Moments".

Improve the shining moments;
Don’t let them pass you by.
Work while the sun is radiant;
Work, for the night draws nigh.
We cannot bid the sunbeams
To lengthen out their stay,
Nor can we ask the shadow
To ever stay away.

Time flies on wings of lightning;
We cannot call it back.
It comes, then passes forward
Along its onward track.
And if we are not mindful,
The chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing.
’Tis as a single day.

As wintertime doth follow
The pleasant summer days,
So may our joys all vanish
And pass far from our gaze.
Then should we not endeavor
Each day some point to gain,
That we may here be useful
And ev’ry wrong disdain?

Improve each shining moment.
In this you are secure,
For promptness bringeth safety
And blessings rich and pure.
Let prudence guide your actions;
Be honest in your heart;
And God will love and bless you
And help to you impart.

I was quite amazed and uncomfortable by how appropriate this was, as I have had the sense of wasting time that was too valuable to be wasted, a lot lately, and a sense of urgency which implied that I could be using my time more effectively and would be regretting all that I wasted, sooner rather then later. After reading the words of that hymn, I had a sense that God was saying, "umm, about all those promptings ...YES!!!! C'mon girl! What do you need? A personalized hymn? Well alright then.."

I was thinking about this directive this morning, as I wearily prepared for the day, feeling that I had barely enough energy to survive the moments never mind improving them. Then I looked outside. It was bleak and grey. No sign of sun, nothing was shining, not even I spy a loop-hole!? Could this be my compensation for having to live on this dreary tundra? I get to waste the non-shining moments? Could this be my silver lining?! No? Sigh...I didn't think so. Oh well, always worth a shot.

Tomorrow those moments are going to be so improved you just won't even recognize them. Also, tomorrow I am going to stop procrastinating. 'Til then..

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