- Category: We're All a Little Mad Here
- Published: Sunday, January 22, 2017
- Written by Kristen Schroeder
So, in this brand new year, why did I have to catch the brand-new flu? I had the flu for most of last March. It hasn’t even been a year!! I’m put out, I tell you, not just out of commission, but out of humor and out of patience for my body that insists on getting sick so often. I am now praying fervently for all the cells, probiotics, vitamins, supplements, etc., to work together in this immune system that makes up me. I know I’m fragile, and all that, but seriously, now I’m offended that my little biome would give in so quickly this winter. Offended, and a little sad. Just sayin’!
So, with another seclusion to my bedroom, and with nothing else to do because, frankly, breathing is taking its toll, I have composed a million little posts to pontificate, extrapolate, and expound upon in my feverish state of being. The first, of which, is why me?
My very wise and good friend who lacks filters said once, “Why not you?”
I haven’t argued this point with her, since she said that to me once years ago. She’s right, of course. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, and things just happen with abandon to everyone and anyone. I happen to believe that there is no such thing as an accident and everything has purpose, but she’s right: why not me?
So, I will pull up the big girl panties and get on with my day. I’ve hydrated, and medicated, and cancelled all appointments for the week. I’ve deferred my house detox. I’ve suspended homeschool for the week, except for reading and Minecraft because, come on, you can read and do Minecraft without me. I’ve issued directives on food and hand sanitizer. It’s a forced rest break. I wish I felt better to enjoy it, but I can’t have everything, right? My hero has even invoked sick leave for the rest of the week, so now even the mom-taxi services are curtailed. Praise!
The hidden benefit of being sick is witnessing how well the family does without me (or the collective you). This goes along with the premise of preparing them for independence, which is kind of a running theme of my writing. The husband does fantastic, first of all. He needs a little guidance, sure, but gone are the days where the house would be trashed and laundry would be overflowing all the living spaces. He’s awesome. The oldest actually did ok, too, which is kind of huge. He’s going to Woodrow Wilson Workforce next week, so I’m happy that although there were no complicated tasks, he was able to stay out of trouble and feed himself. Granted, he ate pizza and leftovers, but still, he ate. I had to remind him about showering, but baby steps are still forward moving steps, so that’s good. The middle, very responsible girl isolated herself in her room, complete with universal precautions, and screamed at me if I ventured out of my room. This is good. She definitely exhibits signs of great self-preservation. I’m pleased. That little one curled up with me and hugged me and asked if I was dying and layon me and went and told the husband that I was dying then came and lay on me some more. Needs improvement, that one.
While we are all works in progress, and a little bit mad here, we are people of great love. We’re not without our faults, though. We have our selfish moments and our selfless gifts, and I think one of the best things we may have going for us is homeschooling. Homeschooling definitely has some pluses and minuses, but one of the biggest pluses is being able to do life together all the time. This can be a negative, too, I’m not going to lie, but the plus side is that real life is being lived all the time, right? There is nothing as real life as having mom or dad get sick. For sure, the kids needed to be able to prepare food this week, they needed to be flexible with routines and cancellations, and they needed to be empathetic with each other and me. Well, it wasn’t always exactly pretty, but it all happened as it had to. Yes, we need to keep working on the finesse of living life, but I think we have the basics down. This reminds me of this thing I keep reading about -- this phenomenon known as adulting, and I’m hoping that my kids will be prepared to adult when they are done here, because they’ve not just had things magically happen (like chores being done, and dinner being made) and they see first hand the teamwork involved in raising a family and a marriage, for that matter.
The thing is that, once again, despite the odds stacked against us when we are sick or under the weather or whatever, we seem to all rise to the occasion of getting through it. Maybe that speaks to life training, independence goals, homeschooling, love, laughter, tears, tirades, etc., but it definitely speaks to the stuff of raising families, and that is where all of our (the collective our) beautiful and messy work lies.
So, keep calm, stay healthy, take your vitamins, and parent on!