Friday, October 23, 2009

In Sickness and In Health: Or, how the flu crapped on my weekend

Yes, crapped on my weekend.

That's the extent of my cursing.

At least publicly.

My little weekend away to see my incredible student play the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, an audition for which I coached her while she spent the summer at a program here at Carnegie Mellon, was swiped from me by the flu. Add to my misery that I have played that role myself, and that the show was being produced by a company for whom I have a HUGE love for (having worked with them), AND it was being directed by my all time favorite director, and saying I was disappointed doesn't even scratch the surface of my emotional state.

My husband got the flu. Swine. Bird. Who really knows. All that's important here is that he got something that took him out for 3 days. And then he rose again. Just like Jesus.

Was I upset he was sick?


LIVID. Was I upset that I was missing the opportunity to see my friends, plus two new wonderful additions to the lives of some very special couples?

Yes. Was I angry that I wouldn't get to pray with a remarkable woman, have lunch with a faithful friend, see my brother in law, and visit the classrooms of the children I used to teach?


But, what I mourned the most was time.

Some time to myself.

I polled some Mom's a few weeks back by asking them, "If you had two hours to yourself, with no one home, nowhere to be, and nothing to do, what would you do?"

Almost unanimously all the mothers in the room answered that they would spend that time alone. No gathering their friends and going to a movie, or running out to shop, or meeting someone for coffee. No. They would opt for not sharing that time with any other person.

So, while I WAS going to be seeing a ton of people, it was the time alone, on the plane, in the wonderful king size bed that was being offered to me by my gracious hosts, and in the car and on the streets as I wandered my old neighborhood, that was most appealing to me, and what I was mourning most intensely.

Moms crave time.

And silence.

It is rare that we get both.

Which is why it is now 11:00 PM and I am up writing.

The day I woke to hear my husband moaning in the shower only to take his temp and have my jaw drop when it said 103.4, was the day I realized I wouldn't be taking that flight. In need of encouragement I asked a friend when we, mothers, would get a break. Her response, "In Heaven."

Um, not to get all theological on her, but I disagree. Jesus withdrew. For me, there were "Danger Will Robinson"' signs all over that answer.

Husbands, take note.

Together, with your wives, the mothers of your children, sit down and set some time for her to withdraw from the "to do's" and the "MOM!", and the this and the that's which so jumble her mind, and build in time for her to go off, by herself, so she may be renewed. 'Cause, see, we love and adore you and the our children, but sometimes? Sometimes we need to get out of Dodge. Just for a bit. So we won't shoot anyone. I'm not talking about a month-long backpacking trip across Ireland. Just maybe an overnight, or a weekly girls-night out. A nap.

My husband TOTALLY gets this and was DEFLATED that my trip was cancelled. I am thankful that he understands that I need to be refilled and that this small trip to Chicago would have served as that fuel. He is amazing at recognizing that Moms fail to get time away from all the mommy stuff.

But hey, pretty lady, before you get up on you high horse and say, "You go girl. Tell him, sister!" it's not just the Dads who may not understand the importance of a Mom getting time away. I know plenty of you out there who just don't think Daddy can do the nighttime routine like you can. Or the morning routine. Or any routine. And they shouldn't do it like you! Let Daddy be Daddy! Let go of the control. Your children will benefit greatly from having Dad develop some special traditions with them, while you regroup. It's time to remember that our highest call is that of being a Christian. We need to nourish our souls as Christians . . . who happen to also be wives and mothers. Think back on those positional truths. We are daughters of the King first. The other roles come second.

The flu, however? The flu could care less about us. It's gone now. But lurking. Like a pig. Ready to pounce. Or whatever pigs do. Who gives a flying pig.

Oink off, flu.


thecurryseven said...

We missed seeing you!


Cuppa Jo said...

Thanks. I missed seeing everyone as well. Trish was beyond bummed. It would have been a very fun evening.