A long long time ago, it seems, we had an amazing trip to Sri Lanka.

Then we came back to Abu Dhabi and the boys were on vacation for two weeks. Two weeks plus one day (their school apparently has a sick sense of humor. I called that extra day “twist the knife” day.)

During those two-weeks-and-a-day, one child had strep, the other child had a weird fever, Husband went to Shanghai for four days, and I tried to go to work.

Then, miraculously, the day came when the children went back to school.

At 2:30 that day, the nurse called. Liam had come into her office with a raging headache, in so much pain he could barely open his eyes.

He came home. Lay on the couch. Then on the other couch. Then on his bed. Then on the couch again. He slept. He woke up. He slept some more. He woke up at midnight; he woke up at 3AM.

Took him to the doctor: no strep,  no infections anywhere, just a headache, a lot of aches and pains, and a very small fever.

He came home. Lay on the couch. Then the other couch. Then on his bed. Then on the couch again.  The entire apartment was strewn with discarded blankets and pillows, abandoned glasses of water.  He slept. He woke up in the night in pain and feverish and feeling like he was going to vomit.

Here’s what happens when you sit with your twelve year old, who does not subscribe to the suffer-in-silence school, on the cold floor of the bathroom at 3 in the morning, waiting to see if he’s going to upchuck.  He moans and cries, he says he’s never ever going to survive.

I pat his head with a cool cloth and say it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.

I think could this be meningitis, or yellow fever, can you get yellow fever here? malaria? Maybe he has malaria. Or a brain tumor.

He decides he’s not going to barf, so we adjourn to a couch so that he doesn’t wake up his brother. Liam wails because NO ONE HAS EVER FELT SUCH PAIN.

I pat his head, I tuck a blanket around him, I give him yet another tylenol.

I think oh for the love of all that’s holy please stop crying and go the hell to sleep, and then promptly berate myself for being such a cold-hearted mamma.

Liam falls asleep, finally, on the couch, and I doze next to him.

In the morning, Liam feels fantastic, miraculously cured.  I, however, am walking like Quasimodo, as a result of a night spent wedged into the corner of the couch.

And then Boston explodes. And then Iran implodes, with an earthquake that measures 7.8 and after-shocks that were felt here, almost 400 miles away. And then the U.S. Senate, in a truly stunning display of craven self-serving lies rhetoric, refuses to pass common-sense gun reform legislation.

The world, it seems, is sick. And I am tired, so tired down deep in my bones that no mere nap can cure me.