When Mom Calls In Sick…


When I peeled myself out of bed yesterday morning, I discovered I had gained a headache, a sore throat, and an earache through the night. No matter. I had four kids waiting for me to be mom, so we moved on with the day.

I taught school lessons, made meals, cleaned messes, and started laundry. But it all took so long as I dragged slowly on through the pain. I have given birth four times, with almost no pain meds. I can handle anything, right?

Or so I thought. As the day went on, and aches and chills crept through my body, I realized I was going to need more than willpower to survive. I was going to need prayer and some ibuprofen.

I thought I might be better after a good night’s rest. But alas, today I woke up to an exaggerated version of my previous day’s “gifts,” and I realized I was going to need to get to the doctor. This is one of the rare moments I deem absolutely necessary to call in for back-up.

But “Back-Up” had jury duty.

And not only did my dear hubby have jury duty, he was hand-selected to be a juror. I had advised him to wear a shirt with a don’t-pick-me-slogan, like “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” I would have gladly stitched up such a shirt for him last night. Hindsight is 20-20.

And so, as my dear husband is text-checking on us, I am sitting in an urgent care facility waiting with my 20 kids. (Okay, I only have four kids, but a two-hour wait with four kids and crawling germs everywhere feels like 20 kids!) Actually, they were well-behaved. (Lots of prayer went into that!)

When we were finally admitted to the exam room, and they had asked the typical hundred questions, we waited yet again. As my toddler walked about the room investigating which buttons she would push to entertain herself, I did the unthinkable. That thing you always wanted to do but never had the guts. Yes, I inflated an exam glove, much to the delight of my toddler.

When we had exhausted the fun of the “balloon,” the doctor was finally in. I didn’t have strep, and I didn’t have the flu. She took one look at my throat and my ears and said I had a severe sinus infection with “bulging ear drums” in both ears. And then she said the word I had waited all morning to hear…


Please, get them in me, make them work fast, and restore me to full-on mommyhood.

Well, as it turned out, it took a little while for the meds to make a difference. But tonight, as I started to feel better, it was as if a veil was removed from my eyes.

I surveyed the damage. It was something akin to a tornado that swept through the house. Grocery ads torn and scattered, matchbox cars littered the floor. Socks were strewn about, blankets thrown to and fro, shoes separated from their matches, books piled high, crumbs dotting the counters. I couldn’t believe it.

It’s funny. Sometimes I wonder what I do all day that keeps me running through this house like a “chicken with my head cut off.” Now I know — I’m a grocery-ad-protector matchbox-car-picker-upper sock-hamper-putter-inner blanket-folder shoe-matcher book-shevler crumb-sweeper. That is what I do.

And now I have sufficient drugs with which to do it.


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