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Thursday here and the brood is still battling the ugliness that is the flu. My oldest finally surrendered last night about an hour after we put her to bed. We found her curled up in a vast pond of vomit, her hair wet and wildly tangled. The room was black as I pulled her from her bed, wrapping her legs, suddenly so long and so lean, around me, and carrying her to the bathroom. I ran a bath and hugged her. You're going to be okay, I assured her. Once clean and in new PJs, we brought her downstairs to be with us on the couch as we watched Idol. She nodded off on her dad's chest between trips to the bathroom to get sick. She didn't stop vomiting until 4am, poor thing. And because my husband had to go to work this morning, I stayed up with her, propping her up, listening to her tummy rumble, whisking her to the toilet when it was time.

It's odd, but I didn't curse any of this. I just slid into it, this moment, this series of moments. I turned the television on in our bedroom and watched episode after episode of the Kardashian sisters. The show is so silly but it did the trick, distracting me, helping the time pass.

This morning was a blurry thing. I pieced together but a few hours of sleep. My girl seemed to be on the mend though which was good. She's spent the day on the couch watching movies. She just got sick again which isn't great, but I guess these things take time. The other girls are playing on the floor and munching on Saltines. I sit here, at my computer, so tethered, so taken. I know it sounds strange, it really does, but while this week has been rough and rotten and just plain icky, it has been good too. It has been good because I have felt present, truly present, in this home, in this family.

I'm not sure the fact that I'm not drinking has anything to do with this. It's very possible, likely even, that it does not. But my theory is that it does. For whatever reason, for whatever host of reasons, I have blamed alcohol for so much. When I am not productive, when I am not feeling great, when I am not at my best with my girls, deep down I think it's because I had a drink or two (or more) the night before and I feel guilty, and shameful, and vow to do better. Be better.

So maybe it's totally mental, but I feel like this week has been okay because I have been clear and present while facing it. There have been few distractions and few excuses. I have survived, I have thrived, I have felt like a good mom.

This is huge.

And this afternoon, this Thursday afternoon in January, where most of us are still in our pajamas at 4pm feeling less than 100% is still a good one. There is peace here. Something that's both wonderfully familiar and utterly new.

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