Do you remember what it was like to be sick when you were younger? I loved it. Not sick, sick, but sick enough to miss school. I loved being snuggled up on the couch or, even better, in my parent's normally-off-limits bedroom watching TV. I loved it because I could be lazy and whiny and get away with it. Mom would hover around me, making sure I was comfortable. She would sit next to me and rub my legs or scratch my back. I didn't have to share her with my other three siblings. She would put off chores and phone calls just to sit with me. It was Heaven.
Even in my twenties, living in my own apartment in Dallas, I would get excited when I woke up and realized that I was, indeed, sick enough to call in and miss work. I would get the phone, a book, the remote and all of my favorite blankets and lie down on the couch, in anticipation of the perfect day of laziness and indulgence. Before the day could officially begin, I always had to call my mom and tell her I was sick. Even though she lived 5 hours away and wouldn't be putting her own life on hold to sit next to my bed, it was enough to hear her say "Oh baby, I'm sorry. I wish I was there." That's all I needed. Being sick is the perfect excuse to admit you need to be babied.
But somehow, it's different now. I have decided I don't want to get sick anymore. I was sick all weekend and there really wasn't anything enjoyable about it. I wasn't deathly ill or anything, but I had fever, chills, the works. I spent the better part of Sunday in my bed, alternating between chills and sweating. I didn't even have the energy to read or watch TV. But the worst part of all of it was the underlying feeling of guilt. I felt guilty. My husband's two days off were spent trying to keep the kids out of Mommy's room. I could tell it bugged him just a little bit. He would never admit it, but I just felt it this time. Usually, when I'm feeling bad, he takes my mom's place at the side of the bed, rubbing my back and babying me whenever I need it. But now that we've got three kids, all the babying and attention goes toward them. And I wouldn't have it any other way. It's nice to be able to zone out for two days and know that your kids will survive without you. But there was just a teeny tiny part of me that felt sorry for myself. I didn't even call my mom this time. I'm a grown up and should start behaving like one, right? Even when I'm sick. But if, by chance, my mom should read this and get the urge to call me and say "Oh baby, I'm so sorry you were sick...I wish I had been there," I just know I will feel all warm and cozy inside and somehow, it will make it all better.