What do you do when a stomach bug hits your household with a 103 deg fever vengeance not only once, but twice within a week?
You scramble with your work schedule and intersperse it with not-so-fleeting moments of guilt and worry.
The first incident concerns you because it knocks your little girl out so badly that all she wants to do is sleep, snuggled next to you in your king size bed as her Daddy is out of town. You wonder if she's got appendicitis, or if it's an ear infection, or if it's the flu. And then you breathe a huge sigh of relief as she bounces back the next day without a hint of a temperature, extremely happy with your suggestion that she stay home from school another day... "so I don't get the other kids sick, right Mama?"
When your son calls you at the office from school five days later, complaining of a sore tummy and feeling "very hot", you're super-thrilled to have hit the viral lottery twice- how wonderful.
You scramble again, taking all your important documents and your laptop, throwing them into your bag, rushing out to pick him up, wishing that they could have at least had the courtesy to get sick at the same time. Wishing that it didn't always have to be you to get them when they're sick. How inconvenient, when you've got such critical, actually hugely critical stuff happening at work...and you should be nominated for Mother-of-the Year for thinking that way of course.
And then you see your boy all flushed and sweaty as he sits there patiently waiting for you in the school office. His sweet, sad face with the look that says "I need my Mom and only Mom can make me feel better". And his voice that utters, "I'm so sorry Mom, I didn't mean to bother you at work, I know you're really busy".
And the guilt and the worry strikes you all over again.
But as the three of you climb into the van, he opens the palm of his hand toward you, showing a small slip of paper with writing on it. "Look at this Mom, I got this from Sally today in class", he says quietly, with a hint of a smile in his voice.
And there, scribbled in Gr. 4 handwriting, is the following:
"Will you come to the movies with me? Circle YES NO "
You're floored. And a bit tickled. But so not ready for this.
"I tried to answer her, Mom, but she kept running away. Actually, she didn't even hand it to me, she had Shawna do it for her."
"Well, what would you have said?" you ask with extreme curiosity, not knowing how to react, or how you should react.
"Oh, I'm not sure. Actually, I feel sorta gross right now, can we go home?"
And that's it.
You get him home, tuck him into bed, and he places the note on his bedside table. And then his little sister picks up the note and reads it to you.
"Well Mommy, I think he should circle NO. He's too young to go to the movies with her!", she whispers without any guilt or worry.
So who's the Mom again?