Insert hand, foot, and mouth.

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Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common human syndrome caused by highly contagious intestinal viruses of the picornaviridae family. HFMD is typically characterized by a mild fever followed by a rash of flat discolored spots and bumps that may blister, involving the skin of the hands, feet, mouth, and occasionally the buttocks and genitalia. HFMD mainly affects infants and children, but can occasionally occur in adults. -Wikipedia

I sit in the calm of a house chaotic on a Tuesday afternoon in late July, the only sounds of air conditioner hum, an occasional newborn dreaming coos, and the heated clicks of an oven self-cleaning. Mommy is sound asleep in her room, as are three toddlers who are sleeping so they can wake up to fun with Ama. The 1 1/2 year old is asleep in her crib, fitfully…but asleep, for now.

That crib sleeper began the crisis of HFMD, but apparently it is now spreading, with Mommy now down for the count. It is only a matter of time before the three hyper sillies begin to show fever and then blister.

I am grateful for the time given so that I am able to assist my daughter and son-in-law this week.

I am grateful for less crankiness and more silliness.

I am grateful for “yes, ma’ams” and “no sirs.”

I am grateful for feeling once again the hand of a child in mine.

I am grateful once again for sitting in a play area having conversation with my daughter, before she began to feel the ugly sickness.

I am grateful for people who say, “You have the most beautiful/adorable/well-behaved/pretty children/grandchildren.” It does an Ama heart good.

I am grateful for a granddaughter just five who babysits like a pro, who instinctively holds the elevator door open for a store employee who is pushing a heavy load, who entertains by giving big cardboard box rides to the younger sisters, who fetches and retrieves without complaint.

I am grateful for a grandson who does a pretty mean impression of any superhero ever.

And I am grateful for time to travel in the van with at least three littles in the back, all singing along to Christian music like it was “Wheels on the bus.”

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