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When my kids are sick, I watch them sleep and see every age they have ever been at once. The sleepless nights with a fussy toddler, the too-hot cheeks of a baby against my own skin, the clean-up duty with my husband at 3 a.m., every restless moment floods my thoughts. I can almost feel the rockingso much rockingand hear myself singing the same lullaby until my voice became nothing but a whisper. I can still smell the pink antibiotics in a tiny syringe.

Although my babies are now six and nine years old, the minute that fever spikes, they feel like infants in my care. I weigh the worries of yesterday compared with the stresses of today. There was once a time I desperately needed them to take medicine without crying though that day seems distant. Today, I take solace in knowing we have prevailed against sickness so many times in the past, and we will do it again. Somehow, I have always had enough strength to care for my children even on the days I myself was sick.

RELATED: Sick Season Is Exhausting

These days when the kids are sick, I slip into autopilot after years of practice. While they sleep, I ruffle their hair, make soup, and wash laundry. I disinfect every surface and push fluids into lethargic little hands. I pray for them to be well again, and I pray for myself to be patient.

I know, as a seasoned mama, this illness will not be our last. I also know what to watch for if it becomes time to get medical help. Lately, I find myself arguing less with my husband about when we should take them to the doctor or who has accumulated the most sleep in recent days. We work more as a team now and play to each other’s strengthsit just took literal years of practice.

Now that my kids are older, I still worry about them when they are sick, but the worry doesn’t overtake my thoughts as quickly. I have seemingly traded worries about childhood illness for worries about the wide world and all of its dangers.

RELATED: As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

After battling through so many different illnesses over the years, I wish I could travel back in time and tell that mama in the rocking chair that wellness will come again. I wish I could hold her hand in the darkness and tell her the Lord is protecting her children and they will be okay. I wish I could wipe her tears and tell her that snuggling that baby is better than any medicine that exists. In my nine years of being a mother, I have come to realize that the best medicine children need to get better is simply a mother who fiercely loves them.

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Taylor Hagemeyer

Taylor Hagemeyer goes by both “mama” and “Mrs. H.” She has a husband who loves her like Jesus does. She was blessed to have both a daughter and a son. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood special education and is a pre-kindergarten teacher in a small town in Nebraska. She believes play is the way to all learning. She is a children’s book author who wants the world to be a kinder place. You can find “Things That Rhyme With Autism,” a book she wrote for her students, on Amazon. You can also follow along on Facebook- Grow Home With Me and Instagram- @growhomewithme for more writing, play ideas and peeks of her succulent garden.

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