I’m sitting alone on our couch (Mike having headed out of town for work for the night). The lights are turned low, and I’m bundled in a blanket. I have a pillow and a laptop on (appropriately) my lap, and I’m listening to A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera sing Say Something . . . on repeat (it’s maybe a kind of blue song, but it’s quiet and pretty – fitting with my bundled up, quiet, and husbandless night).
I’m sniffling, repeatedly; and occasionally stopping to blow my red nose with what should be nice tissues, but is, instead, a rather rough roll of toilet paper. It’s not sadness, mind. It’s simply a head cold that began creeping around on Monday – toying with my sinuses, needling at my muscles – and then swung in greedily and fully today.
Five of the six kids are in bed – Penny having claimed Mike’s vacant spot in my own bed for tonight (just as Goldie did last night). Abe is in the loft above me working on a few last bits of homework before heading to bed himself. He just called down, in a voice of nervous worry, “Mom? Are you . . . OK?” It was all that darn sniffling. He was certain I was crying and seemed relieved to discover that I was perfectly happy and only wholly unable to breathe.
There is plenty that could be done around here. Plenty that should be done. Laundry that needs folding. Pictures that want loaded onto the computer. Library books that need stacked nicely in a corner. Cans of food that need carried downstairs to our cold storage. A large children’s tent that needs folded up and put away -- it nearly takes a degree in rocket science to fold it so that it fits back in the small round bag it came from, so I’m rather proud of myself that I can typically manage it. Tonight, however, I’d rather not.
Motherhood, it didn’t take me long to discover, doesn’t make allowances for silly things like sickness. Kids go on needing fed, mess goes on being made, diapers go on needing changed, and piano lessons go on needing driven to.
This isn’t an end-of-the-world sickness. More of an annoyance. The kind of annoyance that would enjoy being coddled and wrapped up in bed all day, but can sulkily manage with not being. Still, now that the hour is late, and the house is quiet, I’m going to coddle my little self all I’d like. A book is by my side, along with a cell phone waiting for Mike’s goodnight call, a small bag of Doritos are on the table in front of me (hush – no need mentioning that I can hardly taste them), and, well, that song is on repeat.
I’ll check with you all again in the morning. Or, actually, probably not. I’ll be mothering and what not again. For now, I’ll leave you with a few pictures from my cell phone (‘cause remember that part about camera photos not getting loaded onto the computer?). Good night.
Shh. Don’t tell anyone about Jesse playing with the girls’ roominate set. They would be furious.