Thursday, March 25, 2010

Momma is sick. What do you need?

There are dishes in the sink and supplies for tonight's dinner on the counter. The laundry room floor has gone missing and piles of partially folded clothes adorn the family room. My long locks have been pulled into a pile on top and a headband is holding my bangs back. I am tired and frustrated and have been sick, really sick, for two days.

Last week, I worked out every day, kept up with the blog, made plans for applying for a SheSpeaks scholarship and played with my kids. I ended the week feeling, well... pretty good about what I had done. This week,I broke a toe, have had one kid stay home sick and one go in late feeling ill, and I am generally crabby.

Working out is really not my thing. But, I was honestly starting to like it. Next week is spring break for my kids which means no daytime trips to the club. It seems like I am meant, for whatever reason, to be home this week. Home and sick. Sick and tired.

It's easy to get discouraged. It's easy to fall behind. And it sure doesn't seem like there is room in a day or a week for momma to be the one to get sick. Unlike my teaching days, there is just no way to call in and spend the day in bed.

When I was a young teacher, I got sick many times. One day, the principal came in and told me that I would need to stay home the following day.

"Take a sick day," he said. "Rest up and relax and soon you'll be on the mend."

"I can't," I replied helplessly. "This is my class, my lessons, my responsibility. I have work that I have to do. We are in the middle of a lesson on penguins and I am ready to teach it tomorrow."

"Guess what," he continued. "You are not irreplaceable. Someone else will come in and do what you planned to do."

I was offended, to be honest. They were my students and his words stung. Someone else could do it??? Not irreplaceable? Ouch.

Things have changed a lot. Now, when I get sick, on I go. Dinner to make, house to clean, kids to get ready for school. I never sleep in and can't get caught up and it seems like everyone needs me. What do I have left to give?

This morning, one of my kids climbed into bed with me and picked up my relaxed hand. Not one part of me was yet awake and already there was a need. Slowly, he stroked my arm, rubbed my fingers and then placed my palm on the very top of his head.

"I love you, momma. I love you." he said.

I rolled over and faced him eye to eye.

"I love you too, buddy." I whispered.

The need for him was great. The cost for me was nil. He needed to be touched, to be seen, to be loved. And even with a cold, I could provide all that.

This week has been very frustrating to me. I look for lesson I am supposed to learn as I find myself stuck in a body that feels bad. Why must I lay low? Why must I fall behind? And then it becomes a little bit clear... there are things I need to see.

It is easy to feel like we must do it all... like all of it is needful in this one day. The house must be clean, the dishes done, the laundry folded, our hair brushed. And yet, it seems to me that the thing that is needful most is most easily overlooked.

My hand on his head.

My eyes on his face.

Love offered up and returned.

The rest really matters not.

Blessings on your day.

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