By Heather O.
I just finished “Founding Mothers”, by Cokie Roberts, and I’ve come to a conclusion. I am a total wuss.
So, yesterday was a bad day. The bug that knocked Jacob out for our plane ride last week found itself into my intestine, and I spent a not-so-fun morning with my face in the toilet, the sink, the trashcan, any receptacle I could find that would immediately hold the contents of my body that were rapidly spewing out of my mouth. (If you are thinking, “Oh, gross”, well, sorry. If you can’t handle it, you are really at the wrong blog. And no, I’m not pregnant.)
So as I lay dying, wrapped in my comforter and thinking about how much I am dying, DH comes in from feeding Jacob breakfast and says, “Well, I’m going to work.”
No way. Work? He’s leaving me? In this state? Can’t he see that I’m DYING?
I manage a weak protest, and ask him to stay home, because there’s no way I can handle taking care of my child in my current state. He tells me, “You can sleep all day tomorrow. But I have a brief filing today, and I just can’t get away. Jacob’s downstairs finishing breakfast. I’ll try to get home early, you know, around 7:00.”
Tomorrow? Sleep tomorrow? I feel like roadkill RIGHT NOW!
He leaves, even as I start up a constant whimper, and I hear Jacob say to him, “Goodbye Daddy! I’m going to go talk to my Mommy and see what we are doing today!”
I hear the pittar-patter of little feet (they really do make that sound–I love it!), and my 3 year old launches himself up onto my bed and says, “Hi, Mommy! What are we doing today?”
I wanted to say, “You’re lookin’ at it, kid.”
But you can’t say that. As a mom, you can’t tell your child that what you really need is to crash in bed all day with some trashy chick-flicks and the remote control. Kids don’t understand that they really need to bring you drugs and yummy cool drinks in bed and wipe your feverish brow, like you do for them. No, instead, the little ingrates plop on your bed and demand entertainment, and when you tell them that Mommy’s tummy hurts and she needs some rest, they just pull off your covers and say, “Well, we can just play cards in the bed!”
Literally, the only thought that got me out of that bed was, “C’mon, Heather. What would Abigail Adams do?”
Abigail Adams is about the most unwussy woman I have ever read about, and seriously, that got me out of bed. I could hear the woman in my head saying, “It’s just the stomach flu, for heaven’s sake. It’s not smallpox!” So I got through the day, pretending that I was Abigail Adams, pretending that I’m not really a wuss. I miraculously got Jacob to a playdate, and afterwards crashed on the playroom floor while Jacob watched Batman on repeat for 4 hours. But I still feel like a wuss, because Abigail Adams would have milked 10 cows and sewn 12 shirts for “The Cause” instead of sleeping in her child’s bunkbed under the guise of supervising her child while he played in his bedroom with a neighbor.
Aren’t we told the most valiant and strong spirits are saved for these Latter Days, to usher in the millenium? I think maybe some wires got crossed, because in the 18th century, there were some serious kick-butt women. Fast forward to now, and you’ve got women like me who fall asleep playing “Thomas the Train” with their 3 year olds. It’s hard to feel like a great and noble one when you are puking into a toilet with train tracks etched into your cheeks.
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