Today was perfect. It started with waking up earlier than the rest of the house so I was able to sneak downstairs with just a little bit of morning showing through the windows. I had my coffee in peace while catching up on a quick recorded show from weeks ago. Once my husband and daughter woke up we got breakfast going and did our usual morning routine of checking on all Ava’s toys and saying good morning and making sure all her babies are doing fine. After that we were off to pick out our new countertops and cabinets for our kitchen remodel. What is more exciting than that?
We headed our for some lunch and got home just in time for Ava’s nap. I decided that instead of doing a load of laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, or doing the dishes that I was going to also take a nap. And I did! An actual nap. I feel like I don’t remember the last time I did that. We later headed outside to enjoy the 50 degree weather along with many other people. Lots of babies were pushed in strollers, dogs were getting their daily walks, and neighbors were outside vacuuming cars, cleaning out garages, and catching up with one another after a long winter. Once we got home we grilled up a homemade pizza, got into our pajamas early and curled up on the couch with some cookies, milk, and a movie. Ava’s choice of course. It really was just one of those days with no plans except to do what feels right. Now if tomorrow could follow suit too…
A wise co-worker and good friend of mine writes daily. She always has. I’ve known her since high school and she’s written daily since then and even before that. It’s admiring. It takes me a challenge to get myself to write daily for a month, and I haven’t even lived up to that challenge. Her. It’s everyday. No challenge necessary. She writes about exciting things, sad things, angry things, and even boring things. Sometimes it’s just about her day.
I use to write every day when I was a kid. I loved it. I wrote books and would give them to my parents as presents. I would enjoy when my teachers gave us assignments that included writing stories. I even enjoyed writing essays as a kid. What’s changed? It’s not that I don’t like writing. I do. I write to get my feelings out quite often, but it still feels like something has changed. Do I not feel like a good writer? Do I not think my topic choices are interesting enough? Do I not think my word choice is adequate? Is my writing not funny, serious, exciting, meaningful, or entertaining as others? I’m constantly encouraging my students to write and to enjoy it. Most of them really do enjoy it too. This morning they wrote reflections about integration and they wrote furiously for at least twenty minutes. I could literally hear the scratch of the lead across their papers. So what is it about me then? Why has my writing dwindled over the years? Is it technology? Am I not finding time for it? I’m just not sure. I’m certainly in a writing rut though and I’m trying to find my way out.
I’m pretty sure my parents have super powers. They are headed into their mid-60’s and there’s pretty much nothing they won’t, don’t, or can’t do. They travel, they go out, they work when they want to, they own their own summer place, they watch my two year old daughter five days a week, and they just know how to have a great time.
I feel like even growing up I felt the same way. There was nothing my dad could not fix. My poor husband. When we first got married he had to deal with me getting used to another guy in my life doing things differently. He didn’t kill spiders like my dad, he didn’t hang things like my dad, he didn’t paint as meticulously as my dad. He just didn’t do all things like my dad. I finally found a balance for this and so did my husband. He knows I secretly wait to give him things to hang when my dad just so happens to be coming over. He is Hulk Hogan and Superman all wrapped up into one superhero dad.
My mom. She is truly my superhero. She is the most honest, compassionate, trustworthy, best advice giver, listener, problem-solver, and loving person ever. She seriously knows how to solve everything. There is not one time in my life when I’ve come to her with a problem and she hasn’t known what to say, how to solve it, and how to make me feel better about it. She is wonder woman in the flesh.
Combined these two are like magic. When they both come to watch our daughter we come home to a fully cooked meal meant for a Sunday kind of dinner. Sometimes Ava’s clothes are washed, sometimes they’ve gone to the store and got her a new outfit or toy, and sometimes they’ve just spent the whole day playing with all her toys and just making her happy. These two are a couple of the most loving parents anyone could have. I’m one lucky girl to have them both in my life and that they are so willing to do the things they do not just for me but everyone.
I haven’t had any “writerly thoughts” lately. Probably because we’ve all been trapped inside from being sick. That’s all I’ve even been able to write about.
Our daughter was still sick last night making it day four but woke up this morning with some life in her. She was asking to eat breakfast, grabbing for her water and juice, and playing with her toys. Even my husband and I were able to move about and do some things. Thank goodness. You never realize how much you miss doing daily chores until you can’t do them.
The sun is finally shining and it’s a crisp 60 degrees so we’re thankful to have some windows open. Ava was even asking to go outside. We decided to head out to the driveway and see if some Vitamin D on our skin is just what we needed. We played with some bubbles, sidewalk chalk and just observed the nature around us. As Ava was walking up the driveway she took a little tumble. My husband grabbed her up into his arms and asked if she was okay and so sweetly she shook her head and said “You’ll take care of me.” There was just something so sweet about her realizing all the things we’ve been doing for her these last few days have been to take care of her. Even though the medicine seems torturous, and the diaper changes every couple hours, along with the pajama and bed sheet changes through the night she realizes we’re doing it all just to take care of her.
It’s happened. I caught it. It was inevitable. My husband had a terrible chest infection and my daughter has a terrible stomach virus. I tried my best. Lots and lots of water, exercise, and sleep(well, I tried with that one). And I still caught it.
The weather is nice. Kids are outside playing, laughing, and running. My husband and daughter are doing much better. Me not so much. Of course it happens to be when the weather is finally warm and the sun is shining. Tomorrow I will be inside nursing myself back to health while they go outside and enjoy the day. Doesn’t seem fair at all. How is this the correct payback for being the one to take care of them?
Guilt. It’s the worst. If I feel guilty about something it stays with me until I can make it right. Right now my daughter is sick. A horrible, horrible sick that a little two-year can’t understand why she is throwing up, why she is weak, why she can only take little baby sips of liquids at a time when she’s thirsty, or why she can only have a couple crackers at a time. It’s awful. A punch in the gut, stab to the heart kind of feeling.
Yesterday evening seemed to be better. She was holding down crackers and water and a little bit of soup. She even seemed happy. Then bedtime rolled around and as we were about to lay her down on her freshly washed sheets she decided that her soup and crackers were not settling well in her little belly. My poor girl was at it again. Up till the early hours of the morning consoling, cuddling, bathing, changing numerous amounts of pajamas, doing laundry, and just holding my baby tight letting her know that I was there.
I kept thinking how can I go to work and leave her like this? That’s when guilt settled in. How can I not be at work tomorrow and still give my students as productive of a day? How can I not be there to greet them in the morning? How can I be sure they will work just as hard with me not being there? How can I be sure the ones that need some extra attention at times will get it? I remember that my mom and dad will be here with her tomorrow and they are the next best hands she can possibly be in. My mind begins to settle and I think everything will be fine. I can go to work tomorrow and just be home as soon as possible to be with her.
Everything is settled. Until it’s time for me to leave in the morning. My baby girl is laying in my bed weak with sickness, tired from being up through the night, and scared of what’s happening to her. Her body even looks thinner. I give her a kiss good-bye and she reaches for me asking me not to go. Pleading with me to stay. He little arms wrapped weakly around mine trying to hold me back from where I have to be.
My two year old daughter was never sick for her first 18 months of life. Nothing. No coughs, colds, viruses, fevers. Nothing. Now I feel like we have two weeks on and two weeks off. With a good month or two in between at times.
It started yesterday. She just was not herself. She didn’t want to play with her favorite toys, no coloring, no reading, no nothing. She went to bed fairly easy too. It started at about 3:45 this morning with some coughing and spitting up. I thought oh good. She’s getting rid of all that congestion from her cough. Now I’m thinking not so much. If water goes in, water comes out. Pedialyte in, Pedialyte out. Same with Ginger Ale. What makes it worse is that my husband is sick too. Talk about a double whammy. I don’t think I’ve ever been up for the day at 3:45 ever. Let alone having already washed two loads of vomited-on laundry and a quick stop at the corner store for some sick necessities. It’s already been a productive day and there are still many more sick hours left.