One mom wonders if injuring your mom reflex is incurable. Check it out.
Nicole Unice: If you break your mom bone, can you get treatment?
Two weeks ago, I spent the entire work week at a "Substance Abuse & Society" class back at my ol' alma mater, William & Mary. Each morning I left the house around 7 AM, drove an hour to Williamsburg, and then made it back home around 6 PM. Now, in my guesstimation, I assumed I would miss the kids by Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday and Wednesday came and went.
On Wednesday afternoon, as I sipped my hot coffee while cruising down 64, I felt a little panicked. Here it was, the end of day three of my full-time working life, and I didn't miss my kids. Not even a little bit. Not the teeniest bit. I was enjoying long lunches in Williamsburg, stimulating conversation with other like-minded professionals, and leisurely worship and prayer times in my drive alone each day. But really? Not missing them at all? These little people to whom I devote most of my time, energy, and life? I wondered what was wrong with me. Shouldn't my mommy bone be kicking in by now? Shouldn't I be thinking of my munchkins and all they are learning and doing? Shouldn't I at least want to call them at lunch, for goodness sakes??? No. No. and No. Uh oh, I thought. Given my penchant for trusting my intuition and emotion to a fault, I wondered what this meant for me. Maybe I'm called to full-time work? Maybe I should switch gears? Maybe ... I spun some more thoughts around as I exited the highway, and then stuffed those thoughts away in my mental glove compartment.
That night, my daughter became feverish and wheezy. As I prepared for the next day, I found myself trying to explain the quirks of Cameron to my husband. "Well, when she sounds tight, you know, like a tight cough, then you can give her a treatment. Or maybe this cough syrup. But if she's got like a croupy cough, then you should hold her by the hot shower. And don't forget she likes that little blankie. And if you give her a treatment, make sure you give her some water. Speaking of which, she needs to stay hydrated. And don't make her eat, but she'll like the Ritz crackers. And she probably needs a humidifier. And ... " I couldn't even put everything into words, because meeting a sick child's needs is just something I do. It's just something I know, and it's not something that can be explained in a series of bullet points.
So Thursday during class, I thought of her. I thought of the other two. And I missed them, because little kids need their mamas when they are sick, and I couldn't be there.
I realized that I am the one person on this earth who knows my child's needs and quirks better than anyone else. Anyone. I am my child's number one. That is a high calling. It may not be accompanied by a lot of oohs and aahs about the milestones, it may not be accompanied by tears when my children go off to school (more likely screams of excitement), but it doesn't mean that being home with them isn't what I should do.
My mom bone might be broken, but my heart isn't. And although the warm fuzzies might not be there all the time, the calling remains, and that's enough to make it worth the work.