There is rule I adhere to regardless of the circumstances (or at least I thought I did): No School means No After School Activities. The rule is effective in miraculously curing most ailments and works wonders on both my children. Soccer, baseball, ballet, Girls Scouts are rarely missed.
However, in a recent bout with the flu (which apparently was a strain the flu vaccination did not combat), the rule was broken. My daughter awoke one night in a daze and spent much of the entire evening near the toilet, bucket and anything in between. While the “sickness” occurred over a matter of hours, the following day she rested in bed and recouped with tea and soup. Close to 36 hours after her first sharp stomach pain, she lay in bed nestled under blankets. I sat at her bedside and gently nudged her.
“School bus will be here in one hour”, I whispered.
“Too tired, Mommy”, my daughter replied.
“No school. No ballet.” The rule was issued and my daughter simply nodded and turned over.
Another day of rest would be suitable, so I tucked the blankets in closer and went about my morning routine. My husband was graciously taking over nurse duties so that I could spend some time in my office to catch up on work already missed. After kisses and dinner instructions, I left for work.
Close to 10am my phone rings with my distraught daughter on the line.
“I missed the bus, Mommy. I need to go to school. Can Daddy drive me?”
I came to learn that some time after I left, my daughter awoke and dressed and brushed her teeth ready for school. She proceeded to the kitchen for breakfast, but instead found the table empty, the room quiet and the clock reading 9:15am. In a panic, she found my husband busily working at his desk and begged to be driven to school. Hence the call to me.
“Mommy, I feel fine. I wanted to go to school. You forgot to wake me up. I said uhum but you never came back!”
While I debated having my husband drive her, we decided one more day of rest would be best AND would be spent reading and catching up on homework assignments.
“So I can still go to ballet tonight, right?” my daughter asked. “Because if you came back to wake me up, I would have gone to school.”
On what I like to argue is a technicality, I broke my rule. It does takes me two or three visits to my daughter’s bedside to awake her from slumber on a normal morning, but on the morning in question, I only stopped in once to wake her. I could tell her voice was sincere and my husband could vouch for her demeanour the remaining morning and afternoon.
On our way into the ballet studio, my daughter, sensing my angst with this issue, turned to me and said “It’s ok Mommy. We all make mistakes. Learn from yours and make sure to try to wake me up at least three times.”
As she plied in second position with a smile from ear to ear, I could not help but marvel at the smart, young girl she was becoming.
And yes, this Mommy sometimes does make mistakes.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog.