Were I still 8yo Jenny, last night would have been one of those nights where I would have tip-toed quietly into my parents’ bedroom, careful not to wake my dad, shook my mom’s shoulder gently and said “mommy, I don’t feel good”.
She would have slipped out of the bed, taken me by the hand, led me back to my bed, placed her “therMOMeter” hand on my forehead and known before the real thing confirmed it that her skills as an unregistered nurse were needed. Out would have come the children’s Tylenol, the cool cloth, the glass of ginger ale, the hot water bottle, the just-in-case bowl and the sitting by my bed until I fell back to sleep. Costing her sleep, giving me peace.
Many years later, this same scenario would be played out in my own daughters’ bedrooms, Alan’s girls’ bedrooms and endless children’s rooms across the globe from before and into eternity.
But last night 45yo Jenny got out of bed, trying not to wake Alan. She stood in the bathroom shivering while confirming a low-grade fever. She weighed the fever against the responsibilities of the day ahead. She took some Tylenol, made some tea, put herself back to bed to ride it out then put her big girl panties on and went to work. Because ain’t nobody got time fo dat.
**No need for sympathy comments. This is adulting and actually not the point of my story.
But as I sat drinking my tea and meditating (waxing nostalgic?) on the luxury of being sick as a kid vs. as an adult, it led me to meditate on all the people I know with little ones. Either at the very beginning of the game, smack dab in the middle, or nearing the end of when they need you at 3:15am. I remember. I remember and I salute you.
Whether you have 1, 2, twins, 3, 4, 5. Doing it alone or doing it with a partner. All the times of lost sleep, worrying if it will pass by morning or are you taking a sick day yourself to care for them? Will you have to find someone at 6:30am who can sit with your child for the day? Will they take care of them as well as you would? Feeling guilty because you *have* to go to work.
I lift my thermometer high in recognition of the lost sleep, the snotty kleenexes and the projectile vomit.
Heaven knows I wanted my mommy last night!