On Monday, while I was being mindful and meditative as I do, and thinking of the things that needed my attention this week, it became clear that I needed to focus on my morning routine, particularly when the little monkey is with me. I’ve spent far too much time saying, “Come on! Let’s go already! Mommy is going to be late!” with a tone that makes her ask me, “Mama, are you mad?” — I wanted to take it more slowly, beyond what I was already doing (getting up earlier, doing things the night before, giving warnings, helping her out), and enjoy what little time I have with her on days that I have to work, without being an angry mama.
I had planned on Tuesday to take it slowly and enjoy my morning with her before drop-off and go to work as I do. It’s the last week before my
procrastinators students go on vacation and it is an important month in terms of them finishing out the semester strong. I was going to go in, badger them ask them kindly to do what they were supposed to be doing (their school work), call the ones who were delinquent (too many), implore them to get their work in, and end the day on a good note having convinced them all to do what was needed. Then I was going to pick said monkey up from school, take her to her school fundraiser with the Man, my Dad and his wife, and call it a night.
I should have known from the stuffy nose last night that it wasn’t just allergies and that the day was not going to go as planned. But, I hoped.
I gave her an extra few minutes in bed, then asked her to come eat her breakfast. She was taking longer than usual and when I checked on her she was still blowing her nose in the bathroom. One sneeze later, I was looking at a giant, green glob of goobers that, to the best of my knowledge, had expelled itself from my child and onto the floor.
“Did that come from you?”
I stood there half-dressed looking at myself in the mirror paralyzed. I don’t want to and can’t send my child to school like this, but if I don’t, that means I’m creating a certain hell for myself at work. A hell, that if it continues, can and will affect her. I couldn’t make a decision for what seemed like the lifespan of a Moluccan cockatoo, but in reality was no more than a few minutes. I kept peeking at the little monkey blowing her nose hoping that she would magically say, “I’m all better Mama!” after blowing out the magical common cold originating germ, and then we could do as I had hoped. As I’m sure you can imagine, this did not happen.
I let my supervisor know I couldn’t be in for the day, but that I would stop by to drop off a few things a little later than my usual start time. As soon as I made the decision– accepted the present as it was — relief.
And then I took my time with her. She ate her breakfast, got dressed and we got out the door about 30 minutes later than usual. She came with me to work (full box of tissues in tow) and I did what I needed to, got to see a few of my students, nudge them a little and introduce them to her.
We picked up quick fixings for a nice matzoh ball soup at the store and headed home. She set up camp on the couch while I cooked:
“Mama, can you come sit with me?”
“Yes, once the soup is simmering.”
And I did. I sat. I didn’t busy myself with other things. I slowed down. I cuddled up with my sickie and relished in the warmth created there on the cushions.
“Mama, thank you for making me soup and for taking care of me and for letting me stay home.”
I lost a day at work, undesirable, not expected and inconvenient.
I found the gratitude of a small child. Unexpected, entirely desirable, and so appreciated by her mother. What a sight to see.