Mar 19, 2009

head cold

i have a head cold. a bad one. i'm numb from my neck up, and i'm actually getting used to it. i can't taste food at all but can taste this bizarre chemical scent in the top of my mouth, i can barely hear, and if i lean forward too far shooting spears of pain ricochet around my head. there is a deep hack and more mucus than i like to think about. other than that i'm fine. my sister had something similar and said it lasted 3 weeks. so i've got that going for me, too. but really, i'm fine. and that's the clincher, i think. because i'm a mom, there is really no choice, but to be fine. it has nothing to do with martyrdom, as some are probably grumbling under their breath, and everything to do with just plain old physics. newton's first law. a family is an 'object in motion' and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. that's us. we're moving. we never stop. sometimes we might be moving backwards or even upside down, but i'll be damned if we're not ALWAYS moving. and mucus doesn't arrest that motion.

so, the other night, between chorus and my tuesday night job, after a playdate, but before my anniversary date with that man who created this situation with me, i took the kids to grab a quick bite at a taqueria near our house. we all stood in line. i was holding della, because she hadn't napped and was cranky and max and lew were bickering softly amoungst themselves. (i think it was softly, i can't hear ...)it was nothing special or unusual. as we finished up in line, an older woman approached me. she wanted to tell me how charming my children were. thank you i said. it's one of the few compliments that i can take without a qualifier... what? these things? i got them for 75 cents at the thrift store.... they ARE charming and i am so proud of them. always. actually, people often compliment them and for that i am grateful.

but what she said next really tickled me. and i tried not to laugh in her sweet, elderly face.

 she said, " your children are darling and you just seem so unflappable". that was her word. unflappable. she also said that 'i had such a peaceful demeanor'. and right then would have been the proper time to just say thank you, as i was taught.

but no. i guffawed.

i told her that the more appropriate word would be 'zombie'. as in, the walking dead. that i could neither hear nor feel my offspring and that i also wouldn't be tasting my dinner, except that i had ordered a habanero sauce on my burrito in the hope of having some sort of meaningful relationship that day. i went on. i was there in body, not in mind or spirit, and thank god my children were as worn out as i was because there's no telling what i would have done had they been climbing the walls, which they are fully capable of doing.

we all sat down and ate. and i looked at my 3 children lined up on stools across from me and a funny thing happened. while i had a hard time accepting that compliment up front, it sort of washed over me like a wave of warm saline. (a comforting metaphor for me right now) she made me take a mini snapshot of my life with kids right there in that restaurant. with me feeling like hell.

and like she's charming.

hey wait lady! thank you!

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

I am sorry you are feeling bad but I just had to tell you how much I enjoyed this story....These little snapshots...I think..keep us sane as mothers.. We are always in motion as you said but also striving to "get it right". I am thankful for the little snapshots that remind me I am doing okay. You are too.