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Tales of a Beaverton Super-Mom: But Who Will Take Care of ME??

| August 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

18-super-mom-leadRecently I experienced one of those rare summer flu bugs that feels so misplaced in the glorious fun and sun of the season you’d swear you were in an alternate universe…or a dark comedy. It hit me unexpectedly, when I was home alone with the 5 yr-old, and it occurred to me after the virus had passed how differently each child handled my misery and incompetence—and what it possibly predicts about my future caretakers.

Walking up the stairs one beautiful July afternoon, I suddenly felt so dizzy that I stopped midway to rest my head on the carpet, not even noticing how badly it needed vacuuming. I crawled to the landing and laid there as the world spun. My almost-kindergartner knelt beside me and stared deeply into my eyes until she was two inches from my face. “Are you OKAY? Because you don’t look very normal. Or very healthy,” she said in a reprimanding voice. “No, sugar, I’m not. Mommy doesn’t feel well.” Pause. “Perhaps,” she responded sympathetically, “it’s because you’re carrying too much WEIGHT?” Perhaps. But maybe we could save the topic of my Body Mass Index for another time? “Should I call 8-1-1? Or 4-4 snowman?” she asked. Honey, if you make this room stop spinning, I will let you call Disneyland and book us a trip! “No, no”, I said, “let’s just wait til sister gets home from swim and she can take care of you, okay?” “Um, okay. But aren’t YOU supposed to pick her up??” Oh yeah. Right.

Hence, I began the slow descent down the stairs on my bottom, so very, very gently as to not wobble my world or stomach, which was about to hurl. “OOOHHH!!! Good idea!” she hollered. “Let’s play ROLLERCOASTER!” as she plopped next to me, trying to race down the stairs on her tush. “Mommy is actually going SLOWLY. And talking SOFTLY. Can you tell?” “YES!!! I mean ‘yes’”, she said in a whisper. “But how long do we have to play this way? Cause I have to tell you…it’s not very fun for me?” How about until mommy stops feeling like she is NOT going to make it to the bathroom? Just that long.

I’ll skip most of the details for you, but I not only made it to the bathroom…and even made a phone call to the 12 yr-old that she needed to find a ride home. When she arrived, I knew she was worried because she immediately did everything I asked of her and then some. I requested a couple of items to be handed to me in the bathroom, and she opened the door a millimeter of a crack and slid them through, as not to infect herself with my aura. “Mom?” she called safely from another room, “I’m just going to take Kiana upstairs, okay? I’ve fed her lunch, cleaned up, and left out everything you need. Let me know if you have appointments I need to cancel? And call if you need me.” (Captain of the ship, that girl– but she will never be caught wiping up bodily fluids.)

The 5th grader came home from camp shortly after that and immediately put a cold rag to my forehead. “Can I rub your back? Do you want to throw-up? Does a glass of 7-Up sound good??” She covered me in blankets, propped my pillow, and found me a clean shirt. She even tried to wash out my beloved bucket, which I said “NO” to a little too loudly. “Okay, then. I’ll just sit here til you feel better.” (This one will probably have 13 children and never get irritated with a single one of them.)

The 5 yr-old returned to the family room and demanded to know if I was still out of it. “Yes, honey, but I’m sure I’m getting better. Just give me a few minutes.” “Alright,” she said in exasperation. “I’m guess I’m just gonna have to PUSH you in the wagon to Menchie’s! It’ll be FUN!! You’ll feel better after ‘fro-yo’ with whipped cream!! And maybe some little sour worms?? I promise.” Um, barf.

And it dawned on me days later, once I’d recovered, that I’d lucked out in the best way– I don’t have just one offspring who will be stuck with me in my senior years, but maybe three who can do their parts: one who is organized enough to oversee my finances and estate planning; a personal nurse, who isn’t averse to dealing with the least desirable parts of the human condition; and the entertainer, who will bust me out of the rest home for a little fun—probably when I need it the most!

By Maureen Wilson

Maureen is an educator, Girl Scout leader, and often frazzled parent to 3 active girls. She finds motherhood to be a far more humorous and humbling experience than she ever expected.

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Category: Beaverton Voice, Tales of a Super-Mom

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