Confession. I have spent the last 24 hours in bed. I was only sick for 12 of those hours. The other 12 have consisted of 80% recovery and 20% vacation.
I spend all day everyday being a mom and a facilitator for the educations of each of my children. They are lovely people, kind and sweet, responsible and fun. While I was re-living a seen from Carrie last night into bowls held by my husband, Eggplant and Rhubarb stayed close by to make sure I had washcloths, tissue and water. Today, Blueberry is serving me tea and the components of the BRAT diet right here in bed. Could they be any more dear? Still, every once in a while, particularly when I am sick, I need a little time to indulge myself, 70% recovery and 30% vacation.
Does this make me a terrible mother? This Ugly Betty Marathon combined with a cocktail of perpetual knitting and plenty of applesauce and toast? When the kids come into my room and I screw up my face to reveal that I am clearly trying to recover from the flu (about 60% recovery), should I feel at least a little guilty?
In some ways I do. I feel guilty because of all the people in the world who wish they had children but, for whatever reason, do not. For all the people who suffer heartbreak over their children. For those who cannot care for the children they have. I was one of them once, listening to friends complain about how exhausting parenting is while we waited and waited for adoptions to process, wondering if an early miscarriage would render us childless forever. I should know better than to complain. I feel deep down that needing a break from parenting is yet another non-problem enjoyed by the wealthiest tiny percentage of the parents in the world. I am certain that each moment I am with my children is precious and irreplaceable.
I know this -- and yet I am relishing in this half of my respite (not really the 12 hours of torturous vomiting). I don't so much think this makes me a bad parent as that it makes me a really lucky one. I have a sweet husband who is more than willing to hold barf bowls for me and handle 100% of the parenting. I am blessed with the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my children. I live in such a way that a day in bed will not leave my family without water or shelter.
For this I am grateful. Beyond grateful. And I will remember that as I finish up this evening of 50% recovery and 50% vacation.