Ah, the best-laid plans of mice and men...
I was hoping to take my newest library book over to the pub tonight, to tuck in a few chapters and a pint and just get out of the house. Maybe graze on a plate of tater tots, who knows? Until last night, when Kiddo's residual nightly cough from a cold a few weeks ago changed into a new cold, complete with stuffy nose and red tonsils. I was already on alert because one of his fellow preschoolers had strep. Suffice it to say, we're calling up the doctor's office as soon as they open, just to make sure this is a garden-variety cold, but I don't think it is.
To quote Jonathan Richman*, 'I have to sigh now...'.
I know I'm lucky in the big picture. The parent of a single child, this makes dealing with colds a lot easier than in families with multiples, when you have one kid who's down and the others are bouncing around the room, ready to run a marathon. What about hauling all of the kids to the doctor's office? The mom whose child had strep said that it was her older one who was exhibiting symptoms of strep, and so Mom had them all swabbed for strep, then and there. I wonder about taking three kids to the store for the antibiotics when one is horribly miserable. Ugh. Not an enviable task. Another reason I shouldn't complain is because other than the lingering cold, my son is in relatively good health. His immunity isn't compromised, he doesn't have asthma or any other condition which would further complicate a cold. In the big picture, I'm very, very fortunate.
Still, we've spent a lot of one-on-one, child-centered time lately and I was hoping for a little time to feel like I was indeed my own person. When I read that last line, there's a loving yet sarcastic voice in my head laughing "oh yeah, right, Hazie. You are never going to be your own person again. You are a mom. That kid owns you, whether you realize it or not."
Well, damn, isn't that the truth? In fact, as crazy as it sounds, I think this is what parents are supposed to feel, in the same way that a person who commits oneself to a husband or wife is supposed to feel they've grown a third hemisphere of their brain, where decisions go from 'me' to 'we' because the common good of our chosen family unit must be given first consideration.
So, today I'm expecting a trip out to the doctors, a stop at New Seasons for some chicken noodle soup for Kiddo, and maybe a trip to the pharmacy for antibiotics, who knows? I'll be having my pint of beer at home tonight and maybe immerse myself in the jigsaw puzzle I've been working on: "Backyard Birds", 550 pieces. Mama needs a little something of her own, so the puzzle stays upstairs, away from a little would-be helper. In the meantime,I'm going to keep hopeful for Friday night: I've got a date with a girlfriend that was rescheduled from a couple weeks ago, when Kiddo had the last cold. I'm hoping he'll recover enough for the weekend, because we are thinking about going to the local cat show. But if we have to wait until next year, so be it. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed... but only metaphorically, because it's really hard to type with crossed fingers.
*The song quoted is "I'm So Confused" from Richman's 1998 album by the same name. I find this song rather apropos to this moment, because a simple task like making plans for tomorrow feels impossible and elusive when kids are sick.