With flu season banking down on every family outing, each day at school, and leaving our hands cracked and dry from over-washing, I have been terrified someone in our house would get sick. I've been trying to stay ahead of the laundry just in case the vomit-fest begins and the pile of dirty linens and towels pile up in the laundry room. The horrific week-long cycles of flu-ravaged parents trying to hold it all together have been flooding my pages of social media. I remember the first time it hit our house after we became a party of three. I was in my first trimester with Baby Girl and had spent the last three days in the hospital assisting the nurses with breathing treatments and deep suctioning for my Little Girl. We celebrated our hospital release with squeals of delight and a dozen donuts on the way home. I couldn't wait to crawl into my own bed or take a shower long enough to make my husband wonder what I do in there. But the flu had other plans for us. A few hours in, when all three of us were incapacitated at the same time, I called my mom crying, "So, this is what happens? Is this what we'll go through every year now that we're parents!?? And you just try and survive it? And no one can come help?!?!" As bad as it was, I must admit that now I sort of wish I would come down with the flu so I could catch a break. Yeah, it's a lot of pain and vomit, but I would get to lay in bed and watch tv and drift in and out of sleep as I please, without anyone asking me for anything. Instead of the flu, I caught a cold. And it's fantastic.
I knew I was in trouble the night before last. I could tell I was about to come down with something. Thanks to Texas weather serving us alternating days of freezing temperatures, blustery winds, the threat of a state-wide shutdown at the sight of the first drop of moisture, and then shocking us with winter-sunburn-weather with highs in the 70s, I should have known it would throw my senses for a loop. As soon as we came home from my husband's Community Helpers presentation at my daughter's preschool yesterday, I succumbed. Isn't it funny how our mommy immune systems can be trained, or at least coaxed, to keep it together at times when it otherwise would cave? I gave into the chills, found some emergency packs of tissue (I honestly thought I was out of tissues and was weighing the costs of either sending my husband to the store for more, or avoiding asking and just using paper towels- ouch), and haven't done much but sleep, prepare meals, and eat said meals since yesterday. It has been absolutely wonderful.
My husband deserves many praises for the relief he has given me. He helped cook dinner last night gave the girls a bath, put them down for bed, took my oldest to school today and has entertained our littlest the entire day. Although, he helps out like this most days and should be praised more. He really has come quite a long way since the girls were babies. What a gift. Speaking of gifts, the house has been really quiet. And I've actually allowed myself to enjoy it. Although, it does help that I dropped my brand-new iPhone twice on Tuesday and am unable to use the entire right side of my touch screen. This means that during my last 24 hours of sick time, I can't text, can't post, can't tweet, can't pin, can't check my calendar or the weather, and haven't checked my email nearly enough. It feels like a bit of a time warp. Remember when we weren't reachable in the exact second that someone needed us? And what did they do? They waited. Patience. Remember when we didn't have our cell phones within a two-foot radius of our bodies for decades at a time? What did we ever do without our phones? We talked to each other. We went outside. We lived.
I don't know what I did to deserve this day of nothing. But it has been absolutely wonderful. I think I may drag my heels a bit more in getting my phone fixed. Even when I do, I won't let myself fall into that black hole again. My children need to see my eyes, not just my face. And I need to think more about what's in my heart, not what's at the tip of my fingers. I just glanced at the clock on my phone. I have seventeen minutes until the clock strikes, the walls rattle again with their loud spirits, and I shuffle things around in the fridge deciding what I feel like making for dinner. Quick, let me post this, turn off the tv, and listen to the wind swirling outside while I nosh on these Thin Mints.