BamBam had a cough and fever the week before spring break. He stayed home from school beginning Wednesday of that week. Then we had spring break. Then, the week following spring break, Zoo Keeper came down with the same thing BamBam had, only he didn’t tell me he was feeling bad until we were getting in the car to go to his occupational therapy appointment on Friday. I made the appropriate phone calls and took him home. Sure enough, he had a fever; even maintained it through the weekend and stayed home Monday.
It’s now Tuesday and he’s home again because his temp, which was fine most of the day, went up to 100.3°F late yesterday afternoon. That’s only 0.3° over the official cutoff for his school, but there was the coughing, too. So he’s home with me again today. His temperature had not gone over 97.9° all morning, but at around 1:30 this afternoon it was 99.0°. I suddenly thought why the hell do I keep taking his temperature? and stopped. Because he is absolutely going to school tomorrow.
It’s not that I don’t have sympathy for him. I’ve told him I’m sorry about his cough so many times he’s begun to roll his eyes. Well, he actually just gives me an annoyed look, but he would roll his eyes if he knew how. Aside from the cough, though, he’s not sick.
We introverts need time and space to ourselves. That’s one of the many reasons I had such a difficult time in college: roommates. At present, I haven’t had that time and space consistently since the end of March. I need it to function, which is why I’m not functioning very well right now.
Also because I spent the afternoon writing an email about my experiences with death. Only it turns out the email isn’t just about death. It never is, is it? No, because death brings loss and that can take you to a very dark place. I had gotten to the place in my email where I was talking about visiting my father a few months before he died. I had just typed, “I thought okay, so he was capable of and wanted a close father-daughter relationship, just not with me.” I found I couldn’t type anymore after that, which was fine because it was time to pick BamBam up from school.
BamBam, as it turns out, is in one of his moods where he’s upset and crying, but can’t tell you why. Today I feel like a terrible mother because I don’t even care why; I just want him to stop. Still, he stomps around the house, wailing and whining, lamenting…something. Normally I would try to help him process his emotions, but today I just sit on the couch waiting for the storm to pass and wishing I was somewhere quiet and free of other people.
Sometimes when he’s this upset, BamBam stops using words, reverting to communicating through grunts and gestures. If you ask him about his words, he tells you he’s forgotten how to speak them. Luckily, he didn’t get there this afternoon. He eventually told me he was upset because projects make him bring home too much paper and he can’t carry that much paper up to his room. This is an ongoing battle for us. When the boys come home from school, they’re supposed to take all the papers out of their backpacks, sort them, give me anything destined for parents, recycle anything they don’t want to keep, and take the rest to their rooms. Lately, if BamBam has more than one or two papers he wants to keep, he claims he can’t possibly carry all of those papers to his room. I don’t know where he gets his dramatic tendencies.
I felt drained at that point, so I decided to read. I’ve been looking for the next book I want to read, but nothing has appealed to me since I finished my last book, which was a comfort food book I’ve read at least 20 times. I picked up Speak and was interested right away. It’s the story of an incoming high school freshman who has become an outcast because she broke up a summer party by calling the police. I already know that she was sexually assaulted, but she’s not talking about it in the book. She’s talking about her former friends and how out of place she feels. I got up to get something right after a friend is trying to get her to set goals for the year and she (the main character) thinks about how she used to be like that.
As I stood up, I wondered why I felt so…I don’t know the word for it. Sad just doesn’t seem to cover it. But I was wondering why, so I thought back over my day. Oh, yeah. No alone time followed by super emotional email followed by crying child followed by emotionally laden reading material. Surprise! You have emotions that are affected by things going on around you and inside your head.
I tend to forget that.
I have the same problem. One of the things I like most about work (it’s scientific research, mostly in front of a computer) is that I rarely have to talk to anyone. Any our family “vacations” leave me exhausted because I get NO alone time. My son had his appendix out two weeks ago, so I mothered intensely through that, then we went on “vacation”, and then my daughter decided she needed help processing her emotions about her brother being sick. I thought my head was going to explode. Going to work on monday was such a relief.
Exactly! I’m glad that you get it and so sorry that you get it all at the same time. And I hope your son is recovering well and feeling much better.
Girl! As usual, I’m right there with you.
Not only do I have a child home sick today, too, despite my desperate need to get my home in order but I also can totally relate to that familiar emotional overwhelm. Why can we not put all that processing on hold (like forever!!!) so that we can get stuff done? Why do I spend so many days going through the motions with that sadness in the background. Not depression sadness, either, which would just send me to bed for a day/week/?. No, it’s the sadness of processing all that loss and neglect from years gone by which is just kind of like a heavy cloak that I sometimes become aware of much, much more than I want to.