When I have been working for too many days in a row, I find myself desperate for one day- just one short day, please, Lord!- at home by myself. I yearn for peace and silence in the middle of life’s usually ceaseless demands.
I often wish for just a little more free time, fewer demands, fewer commitments. I usually beg for quieter weeks.
But, every now and then, I find myself facing a week full of demands that I am eager to meet. Full of exciting and empowering challenges.
This was supposed to be one of those weeks.
I came off of a very busy weekend and jumped into a week that promised a difficult meeting, a big field trip into Boston, a return to my choir after weeks of scheduling conflicts, and a big School Committee meeting with my daughter set to speak on behalf of the teacher’s union which represents us both. I was excited and slightly anxious going into the week.
It all would have been fine if I hadn’t suddenly and dramatically been presented with the famous Norovirus at exactly 2 pm on Tuesday. POW!!
Instead of singing, sheparding children through a historic re-enactment and watching my daughter give a speech, I have spent the past two days curled in a ball on my couch. I’ve been revisiting the joys of the “pant-blow” breathing of childbirth and the complete lethargy of my bout with Mono. I’ve been sipping weak tea to stay hydrated and nibbling on plain yogurt for nutrition.
I have absolutely gotten my fill of quiet stay-at-home time, that’s for damn sure. After four straight episodes of “House of Cards”, I am ready to be back in the real world.
But the worst part of my viral vacation is this: My daughter, my beautiful warrior woman daughter, is standing up in public tonight, speaking on my behalf, and I am not there to have her back. I know she doesn’t need me. She is strong and courageous and articulate and smart. She is surrounded tonight by colleagues and friends. She doesn’t need me. But I’m her Mama, and she is standing up for all of us. And I am home, holding a hot pack on my aching middle.
And I guess the lessons this week are these:
1)There is nothing in this life or this world that is so important and so powerful that it can’t be completely derailed by the tiniest little microorganism.
2 The time truly does come when the older generation needs to let go, step back, and bask in the reflected success of the next.