When Mama is Sick


I generally don’t let the various icks to which the human body is heir slow me down. I have a household to keep on track, a dog to walk, children to torment, writing to do, and sickness is so…sickly. Which isn’t to say that I don’t get sick; I just don’t tend to pay much attention.

It has been pointed out to me that this is stupid. I am married to someone who has so close and personal a relationship with his health that he can (and does) alert me whenever he achieves a state he calls “pre-coldish.” I probably know what he’s talking about, except that when I feel pre-coldish I don’t think about it. He starts up with the zinc lozenges and vitamin C and going to bed early. In fact, he rarely progresses beyond the pre-coldish stage because he leaps on it and mashes it flat. Whereas I, who laugh in the face of bacteria, occasionally find myself the butt of the joke, knocked out completely and feeling pathetic. So maybe the zinc lozenges are a smarter move than I realize?

And then there are The Young. Both of my kids are very in touch with their aches, their pains, their nausea, their flat feet or warts or boo boos. My job, as Mommy, is to soothe the aches, quell the nausea, install arch supports or freeze off warts or bandage the boo boos. I am the attendent. When I cut myself or scrape a knee, I tend to treat it the same way I treat their minor hurts–efficiently, without much fuss. But I don’t do the soothing-Mama-comfort-thing to myself because…I’m the Mama. The girls would love to flutter around me and supply all the soothing-Mama-comfort, which I appreciate but rather dislike; it slows me down.

In the same way, when I am not feeling well (ie., this morning) the wave of concern from the family is huge. Spouse immediately sends me off to bed; the young are solicitous and want to make me tea; only the dog (who is a dog) is more concerned with her walk and breakfast than with my welfare. Everyone popped in to my room off and on to ask me how I was before heading off to school. Everyone wants to be the Hero who fixes Mama. All Mama wants to do is sleep (and Mama did, for another five hours).

It used to be, if I fell over, nothing got done and everyone panicked and I wound up dragging myself from my bed of pain to take care of everyone. Not anymore; they’re all old enough (except the dog). I’m going to take a leaf from the Spouse’s book and forget the SuperMama act for the day. They can figure out what they want for dinner, and produce it. I’m going back to bed.