I Love You Enough to Get the Flu
My middle child woke up with a 102 fever on that morning we were supposed to fly home from our family vacation. I’ll spare you the details but she was really sick and it seemed to come out of nowhere. Our bags were already packed, and the plane was leaving in three hours.
The mom instincts were reeling. We’ve been around the sickness block, and I just knew in my heart she had the flu (thank you google and prior experience). My immediate focus was just to get her home. But there was one problem. She was so sick that she refused to walk or stand. Now, my little buggy was about to be seven years old–big enough to be held on occasion for a snuggle but definitely too big for long term holding.
From that hotel bed, I pick her up and carried her. My sweet husband had a three year old, eight year old and three huge bags to contend with, so we had to divide and conquer this mission to get home.
I’m still not sure how we made it through airport security, long lines, and lots of waiting. But she stayed wrapped around my chest and waist with her head buried on my shoulder the entire day. Thankfully we arrived in Texas and drove immediately to Urgent Care.
Sure enough she had the flu AND strep, and sure enough–48 hours later–I had the flu as well.
The flu was not kind to me, landing me in bed for almost a week. After my precious girl had recovered, I was still in bed feeling miserable (and silently wondering if I was actually dying). With tears in her big brown eyes, she told me she was sorry that I was sick and that it was alllll her fault. She asked, “Why did you carry me mommy?”
I told her, “I love you enough to get the flu. You needed me. Sometimes it’s my job to carry you.”
Maybe I was trying to tell her that I would do anything for her. Or that I will walk the trenches with her no matter where they take me. Or that I love her so fiercely that nothing can keep me from her if she needs me. Maybe I’m secretly hoping that even as she gets bigger, she will let me carry her when she needs it.
We’ve all been there. It’s just what we do as moms, and we have the perspective to know that nothing lasts forever. Sometimes our actions can speak louder than our words. And sometimes we just need our moms to carry us. Even if it means getting the flu.