I took my youngest to the doctor this morning for recurrent fevers and headaches…no other complaints…and then out of nowhere, she developed croup an hour later.
I moved her from the couch to my bed. A noise woke her at one point, and in a croupy-whisper-panicked sort of way, she asked me to stay with her and not leave her.
I was going to be the cool homeschool mom today, and I had everything planned and packed to do all learning in the State Park woods. The picnic lunch was already in the car. And then this hit. And then I found out a bill I had scheduled to pay didn’t in fact pay itself and now it’s late. And then the house was making me want to set it on fire because the mess was infuriating me. And the big kids weren’t listening even though I made their math into a game.
And then in the midst of my horrible failure “why me, I was meant to be a doctor or neuropsychologist or anything but this” negative brain spiral, this little voice begged me to not leave her alone.
She’s sleeping again. She won’t know if I am in the next room cleaning, or if I’m writing checks, or if I’m drill sargenting her siblings. But I would know. She asked me to stay next to her.
Just one sentence. It can change everything.
I told the big kids I trusted them to learn. I left them with poems to read and instructions to create a research project on The Nutcracker. And I’m parked on the bed, next to a 4-year-old who has my entire heart wrapped around hers. I’m not moving.
It’s hard to lose yourself to parenting. But it’s beautiful when you can find yourself in it, too. I don’t know who I am anymore, but she knows my heart, and it’s good enough for her to want it next to her.