February 11, 2009

It’s the school calling.

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:10 pm by the Green-Eyed Siren

The phone rang at 12:30 today, and I knew it was trouble when I saw the school’s name on Caller ID. Sure enough, we had a problem: poor Unfocused Junior had come down with a terrible stomach virus. I raced off to pick him up, as you would expect, and then spent the afternoon soothing him as best I could through insult after insult to his constitution. He had a tough time of it today.

It is always distressing to see your child feeling so ill and miserable, but I have a confession to make. Recently, Unfocused Junior’s non-stop talking has been driving me slightly batty, and I haven’t always handled it with grace. Today was very hard for him and I am so sorry about that, but for me there was something almost rejuvenating about it as a mom. Caring for him in such an elemental way, returning to the roots of our mother-child relationship, was deeply moving.

I’m sure that every mother can relate to the amazing feeling of watching her children sleep. My kids are 8 (almost) and 5 years old, yet still…when I see them asleep, their faces, no longer animated by the expressions of the day, resemble their infant faces so strongly it takes my breath away. Those faces that I watched in sleep for hour upon endless hour in the earliest days of their lives return to me now when I check on my big kids at night, if the night lights are bright enough; but my vision is poor, and I cannot see so clearly in the dimness, so it is a pleasure I don’t often enjoy. Today my son slept in the middle of the afternoon, a certain sign of how the virus was taxing him. And I kept watch, just as I used to, and in so doing I reconnected with the infant he used to be, and the mother I used to be, through the familiar lines of his beautiful face.

I am hopeful that tomorrow will be better, and he will restart his constant narration of the events of the day. When he does I will be very happy to listen. But for now he is peaceful, waiting as his body does the work of fighting its foe. And it is quiet in our house.

Sleep well, Junior.



  1. The Lass said,

    Feel better, Unfocused the Younger.

    Your comments about his chattiness struck a chord with me – the oldest of the kids I take care of is an almost-nonstop talker -something that is, by turns, amusing, irritating and just plain exhausting. I was a very talkative kid and I remember feeling hurt and insulted when any adult pointed that out to me, so I try to be as patient with him as I can…but there are days when that is difficult.

  2. harri3tspy said,

    I identify with this greatly. The older AJ gets, the less I get to take care of him and the more we struggle with independence issues (too much, not enough). But when he’s sick, it all falls back into easy, defined, basic roles. The struggle stops for a few days.

  3. freshhell said,

    Hope he’s feeling better. Red is a non-stop talker but I’d much rather listen to the chatter than have her be sick. Some of that is selfish – I’m not a good nurse and really hate vomiting. A lot. A whole lot.

  4. Jeanne said,

    There’s a realistic vomiting scene in the book I just read, Everyone Is Beautiful. Except that each child only vomits once, and is fine the next morning. I send you good wishes, Siren, but it’s rare that my child comes home vomiting and it doesn’t continue until I join in, and then his sister, and usually my husband last, just at the point where I’m too snappish and impatient to be very sympathetic….

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