Sick Day

It’s Monday and I’ve been home today with a sick child.  As I type this, Callee is behind me asleep on my bed.  I’m listening to her restless breath and it somehow emphasizes my role as mother.  Today I’ve had to be completely checked in, when lately I’ve spent a lot of time somewhere else in my mind.  My book group met yesterday and we talked about being present.

“No one has it within his ability to live yesterday and no one can live tomorrow.  There is only one time in which we can live, and that is now, in this instant; it is what we are in this instant, that constitutes our life.”  Joel S. Goldsmith from “Practicing the Presence”

I read and write all about being present, getting out of the past and future, quieting the monkey mind and yet lately I’ve let that monkey drive me all over the map.  We’ve visited all kinds of places in the past and just LOVE it in the future.  What does this mean?  Where is this taking me?  Who will I be and what will I become?  Then today, my daughter wakes up with a fever of 102 and with a screeching halt I park in the moment.  Or at least I try to.  I make arrangements to get big sister to school so I can devote my day to her.  I give her medicine and scootch  into the chair next to her.  I hold her warm body close to mine and feel her rapid pulse.  I know as long as she can sing along to PBS and crack a smile at me that she is OK.  I pay attention to my body, my stomach mostly, as it always tells me when something is WRONG.  She is alright. The medicine seems to be working.

Later in the day the fever is back, 103 this time, and the medicine should still be working.  I pick up the phone and call the doctor.  While I am on hold, I come to the computer and check my email.  A strange sound comes from the other room.  I checked out when I should have been present and Callee has thrown up all over herself.  I put the phone down and clean her up.  I must be here now.

Before I sat down to write this post, I laid with Callee in bed while she drifted off to sleep.  I am the most important person in her life.  She needs me to be available and her sickness reminds me of what I am versus what I want to be.  Yes, I want to be a successful, published writer one day and because of that I spend most of my days like a narrator in my head creating a story out of my life.  And sometimes, as I form the beautiful words in my head to describe the moments I’m revisiting…I miss the beauty in that very moment.  Right now, I am a mother.  The past is gone and the future will never arrive.  And being home with a sick child sucks, but at least I am available enough to know it.

Now I am off to cuddle my precious 3-year-old daughter and hope that tomorrow brings good health her way….(of course there I am in the damn future again.)


6 thoughts on “Sick Day

  1. Renee September 1, 2009 / 7:33 am

    I hope she feels better today.

    • lesleehorner September 1, 2009 / 8:34 am

      So far she’s better, we’ll see how the day progresses…

  2. eastkentuckygal September 1, 2009 / 11:19 am

    Yes, hope she feels better soon. I’m searching for ways to boost immunity this winter. Last winter was a big one for illness for us. Being present is such a struggle for me as well. Sometimes I wonder if these little things are made to stop us.

    • Renee September 1, 2009 / 11:45 am

      For boosting immunity: Exercise, lots of water and vitamin C. It’s worked for me for YEARS. And an overall healthy diet of mostly whole foods doesn’t hurt, either.

  3. heather September 4, 2009 / 10:06 pm

    I am crying now – what role do I have to choose at “present?” On Monday, my baby was sick too. I was on my way to take her to day care. I had court in a county 1 1/2 hours away, it was raining, and of course I had not an extra minute to spare for the trip. Two blocks from day care, Ellie retched and threw up everywhere- she was frightened and crying. I wish I could have been “present” with her. Instead I made the impossible choice to clean her up and drop her off at daycare until I could get back from court because I felt I had no choice. By the time I got out, daycare had already called to say Ellie just didn’t seem herself – she had been whining and whimpering, and had been sleeping for three hours. I picked her up on my way back, hours after I should have been with her. We cuddled and read books, sipped sprite and coaxed the tylenol down. I felt so bad for her, and so bad as a mother. Conflict between competing needs and responsibilities makes for difficulty indulging in the “present” – always feeling that you are needed somewhere else…

    • lesleehorner September 5, 2009 / 8:39 am

      That is such a tough situation. It seems like you did the only thing you could do and should not feel guilty for that. You were there and totally checked in as soon as you were able to be. I often find myself here with my girls physically but hundreds of miles away in my head. That is what I want to learn to do less of.

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