“My tummy hurts.”
Ugh. I don’t have time for you to be sick, I thought. I felt her forehead. Uh oh, a fever. I sent her off to bed, mentally reviewing all the things I had hoped to accomplish tomorrow. In the middle of the night, she was climbing into bed with me, bowl in hand just in case. It was a long, mostly-sleepless night.
As a single mom, there is no back-up plan for when my kid is sick. The older ones can stay home alone at least some of the day, unless they are really sick. The youngest isn’t quite there yet. For many single moms this is a nightmare as they try to balance work and home life in a precarious tension. I am thankful my job has flexibility. But still, there are things I had planned for this day. Things that will most likely not happen as I try to care for the youngest of my minions.
As I started to reorganize my plans, a thought occurred to me: isn’t this my job? Isn’t caring for and raising this amazing human with love and tenderness the first thing on my to-do list every day? Taking care of her isn’t something else on the list—it tops the list. In fact, it’s the reason for most of what’s on the list.