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No Children Were Harmed In The Taking Of This Nap

Wednesday night my throat began to feel a
suspicious sharpness, right about the time my shoulders began
aching. By Thursday morning, it was confirmed: I had a cold coming

Now, this is not (thus far) a whopper of a cold, but it’s
clearly something non-allergy-related, and it’s just annoying
enough as it continues to come on that I got out of bed Thursday
morning dreading the day. When you’re not soooooooo sick that
you can lock yourself miserably in your bedroom, you are still
expected by your kids to perform all your Mommy Duties, and with
the same amount of good cheer and grace. Grumble, grumble.

So I got out of bed, cheered Maddie through her morning routine,
and walked her to school with little difficulty. Then I turned
around, came home, and repeated the process with Cora: finish up
breakfast, snuggle and read books, then head to preschool. I
dropped Cora off, got in the car, and sighed as I ran through my
mental to-do list, exhausted just by the thought of it: make
several mini breakfast casseroles to freeze for the girls; hit the
eye doctor; chat with a new client; return some stuff; make more
granola; clean the desk; and more.

And then I realized –

I could take a nap right now, and no one would be put out by

That to-do list? Yeah, it’s long,
but none of it is absolutely essential for the day. I ran through
the list one more time, paring it down to the essentials and
promising myself a long time in bed when I finished. I whizzed
through the morning errands and crawled into bed, where I stayed
until it was time to pick Cora up from school.

My nap time felt so decadent: there was no babysitter or grandma on
the other side of my door, agreeing to take sole custody of my kids
but only until a certain time. No screaming girls who promised to
keep it down for Mommy, but forgot that promise when someone got
slapped. No toddler sitting vigil just on the other side of the
door, worried about Mommy, until Mommy gives up and drags herself
to the door and puts on that “See, look, I’m
fine!” smile on her face which costs so much energy. No
harried husband trying to help out by keeping an eye on the girls
as he works from home to give his puking wife a bit of respite.

I could take care of myself without discomfiting a single other

So the list got put aside until next week, and I rested up for the
remainder of the day. Which meant that when I picked up first Cora,
then Maddie from school, I could joke and play with them, have a
bit more patience than I otherwise would have, and simple be more
present in their lives rather than trying to stay conscious and
upright. I’ve always looked at the few days a week Cora will
be in school as time to get all my household chores done, but now
I’m seeing how precious those hours will be when cold and flu
season hits. I can power down and function in sleep mode until
it’s time to Mommy up again.

It’s a brand new day.


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