Friday, January 14, 2011

on being the mom, with a cold

Two days ago, I woke up feeling fine, and then involuntarily swallowed, realizing my throat was clogged by two racketballs. Or, at least that's what it felt like, and my first thought was, crap, I'm sick and I'm going to feel like this, specifically, throat-clogged sick, for at least three days. There goes my perfect attendance at work this year.

Laying in bed this morning, I realized that this is not the worst cold I've ever had, and that is quite amazing, because until now, I think I've always thought that the present cold is the worst ever. This one has the throat clogging issue accompanied by some aching and nearly non-stop runny nose and eyes, which are the reason why I'm awake before the birds and sun today. I have likely exposed all of my co-workers and will expose all of my classmates today and tomorrow, in my foolish effort to be stronger than the cold and an even stronger effort to have perfect attendance in 2011. Oh well. Apologies to my co-workers and classmates--I have and will continue to wash frequently and cover my nose and mouth--did I mention the frequent sneezing?

While laying in bed this early morning, trying to determine whether I should rise and locate tissues or stay under the warm cover of dogs and sheets and blankets, hoping the running would subside, I considered again the recent shootings in Arizona.

When my firstborn was three years old, I vividly remember telling his pediatrician that he was asking questions nonstop and wondered what I should do with that. The good doctor responded that I should answer all questions, enthusiastically, because that would encourage curiosity in the boy, which would stimulate his desire to learn, and cause him to grow up smart.

When my second child was three, I vividly remember telling her pediatrician that her older sibling was extremely frustrated with her because she had realized that she didn't have to do everything her older brother told her to do and he didn't like this change in events. He liked being the decisionmaker, the play planner, the boss of her, but she, well, she didn't. She was an individual who liked to decide and plan and boss too.

That wise, young pediatrician gave me the best advice of my parenting career. He told me that as long as they were not physically harming or publicly humiliating each other, I should let them work it out themselves.

Because there are people physically harming others and publicly humiliating others, the mom in me wants to step in and separate the kids and send everybody to time out. It feels like it's time for everyone to sit down at the kitchen table and write a list of ten things they like about their opponent and then give the other person a hug and say I'm sorry for being so mean and for causing you so much pain. Because even if this is America and anyone can say whatever he or she wants about anybody else, and even if there are mentally unstable people who hear voices of people who aren't there and think irrational thoughts and behave in irrational ways, and even if no one is to blame for those irrational acts but the actor himself, the mom in me still wants everyone to get along and stop the bickering before we have to turn this car around and go home and take naps.

1 comment:

Johanna said...

"Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love the truth." Joseph Joubert

I was discussing a musical artist with a friend the other day. The friend said that while he loved the artist's voice and music he could not listen to the music because of he detested the artist due to his politics.

All I could think was "Seriously?" He refuses to enjoy this artists gifts because of a differing political opinion. Really? that's a word filled with vinegar. An ugly word. Sad, sad, sad.

While politics affects life, it is not life. It's not as if your political adversary kicks your dog or tells you that your children are ugly. It's an opinion.

I see ugliness of both sides of the aisle and it's moving me closer and closer to the center. I think that's where I will stay.

Perhaps what we need is a national nap.