Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Winter of Discontent

I have had that week that tests both my patience and my hold on sanity. My children have both been sick and of course my husband is out of town. I am not sure why I am surprised by this; if I look back over my last nine and a half years of parenting I am sure that there would be a mathematical correlation between my husband walking out the door to go on a business trip and someone getting sick. Even so, I still feel like I have been blindsided every time it happens.

Yesterday, after my daughter had thrown up for twenty four hours straight, I dragged her to the doctor. I had to pick her up and carry her into the office because she was too weak to walk. Her hair was tousled and she was still in her pajamas. I also had my son with me. He had a cough that sounded like a freight train coming. Sure enough, he was diagnosed with bronchitis.

I had to pick up an antibiotic on the way home to treat his cough and my plan was to run in and get the prescription filled while I left the children in the car for a minute. Not a great plan, but one that was out of necessity because I don’t have any family in the area and the babysitter doesn’t want to be around my sick kids. Then the final blow came. “Mommy, my tummy hurts! I am going to be sick.” Thankfully, I had put a bucket on the floor of the backseat, anticipating this very moment. Clearly, there was no way I could stop at the pharmacy, so we went home.

I thought about what to do and then I came back to my mantra from when I was sick myself. I would have to ask for help, and be okay with accepting it. It doesn’t mean I am not a perfect mom (Ha!) it just means that I am in a bind and my husband, my mother, my sister or my brother are not nearby to help.

So I called my friend Lisa who recently moved to the area. We were friends before we ever had our children so we have a bit of history. “Lisa,” I began with trepidation, “Can you stop by the CVS for me and pick up a few things?” I waited for her response, hating to put any one out. “”Of course I can, Jeanne,” was her cheery response. “Can I bring you something for lunch too?” I was so relieved. “Well, I think I could use a bottle of wine more than anything right now.” I replied, starting to cry. I felt so alone and overwhelmed with all of the throwing up and coughing, I just couldn’t take anymore. “I will be there soon,” she responded and I hung up the phone thinking how lucky I am to have my girlfriends.

She arrived an hour later with the prescriptions, Gatorade, Ginger Ale, a beautiful salad for lunch and a lovely bottle of wine. “I will put some soup on.” I told her as I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t alone any more. We set the table with pretty placemats and wine glasses and sat down for a delicious meal of salad, roasted red pepper and tomato soup and a lovely glass of Chardonnay. “Sometimes you just have to pretend that you are at a cafĂ© in the South of France,” she joked. We ate and laughed and talked for several hours until it was time for her to go get in the carpool line. I felt like a new person.

“Thank you so much for coming over.” I told her. “No problem,” she replied. “Just remember, it is all about sisterhood and survival.”

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