Monday, January 31, 2011

Change of Plans

There's a moment at 4:18 in the morning--when you enter your son's room after being woken by cries of "Mommy" to hear him say he feels like he's going to throw-up--when you face a choice: internally bemoan your exhausted state and clamber for some shred of control, or surrender.

I'm learning to surrender.

We walk to the bathroom together--my eyes barely open, his eyes showing the signs of discomfort and exhaustion--and I sit on the edge of the tub while he kneels in front of the toilet.  We wait there together in shared misery.  And wait.  After a few minutes, when it doesn't come, we return to bed, but we both know it's a temporary reprieve.  Once you've been woken at that time by a sick child, the chance of returning to sleep uninterrupted are slim to nil, and as anticipated, he calls just before five, having done the real thing.

The rest of the morning flashes before my eyes.  What was supposed to be a quiet, productive morning of research and writing followed by reading time at the kids' school gives way to the new reality: last-minute carpool arrangements and canceling plans and bathroom runs and Gatorade.

But there's no use fighting it.  Stomach bugs trump everything.  First and foremost, I am wife and mommy.  Everything else is secondary.  Rather than try to maintain any of my original agenda for the morning while he recovers on the couch, I give up my to-do list.  We take Abby to school, carefully navigating the icy roads, and Ben and I return home to snuggle up and watch a movie, together.  The time is quiet, sweet, and I receive this change of plans as a gift of alone time he and I rarely get these days.

Now he's napping, for the first time in months and months.  Abby, too, slumbers upstairs.  Outside, the snow that came down as an icy mist this morning is now fluffy and falling fast, covering our little corner of the world in tranquil, white frosting.

It is not the day I anticipated.  It's better.

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