I’m sitting in one of my favorite rooms in the house in the middle of the day on a Friday. It’s quiet here today; I can hear the sounds of my husband’s guitar students quietly picking through chord progressions on the other side of the house. My son, home sick as well, fumbles around in the kitchen. These everyday sounds that I usually miss feel somehow comforting as I reach for another tissue.
I know some people who can just sink into the idea of being sick. They relish the ability to wear yoga pants all day, not have to put on make up, and sweat with excitement at the opportunity to plow through the huge pile of books and magazines on their bedside table.
I’m envious of those type of people.
I suppose it would make things easier if I lived in the part of the country where the Polar Vortex is in full force. Somehow, downing DayQuil and sipping hot tea would be much more pleasant if the snow was piling up outside and I had a blazing fireplace to lounge in front of. Instead, I’m gazing out the window of my study, watching the birds dart about against the backdrop of azure blue sky, and wishing I was doing just about anything else but sitting here, blowing my nose, and coughing into my elbow.
I despise being sick.
And yes, I know fighting it is the wrong approach. I know I should let it go, just not worry about anything, rest, drink lots of fluids and let myself heal. But that’s not how Type-A people operate. Instead, I ruminate on what’s going on in my classroom with a substitute teacher (I’m sure my students are loving it!), I worry about how my family will adjust our complicated weekend plans, and look around at all the things I should be doing if I’m at home and not working. In other words, I’m probably making myself sicker.
I wish I could just let it go.
I actually think it’s more than just being Type-A. I think, really, it’s about being a mom. For the last 18 years I’ve had to put other people first. I’m not saying that in any sort of martyr-ish fashion; it’s simply been my role as a mother to think first of the needs of my family, then my own. I’m a caretaker, and actually, care-taking is what’s gotten me into this bed in the middle of the day on a sunny Friday afternoon. I don’t feel resentful at all – just a little perplexed at the irony of it all. And it’s funny-when I feel like this, I think first to who can take care of me; it’s not anyone in my immediate household. I think to my own mom, and how she would bring me saltines and 7-Up when I was a little girl, and run a humidifier to help me breathe. How she would cut the crusts off grilled cheese sandwiches, and make sure that I had everything I needed.
I wish she was here right now.
I wonder if she ever got all our germs? I don’t remember her ever being sick. Maybe, just like me, she didn’t mind. Maybe, just like me, she loved taking care of us, and catching a cold now and then was just part of being a mom.
I think I’ll relax on that thought.