When a Mother is Sick
I LOVE my mornings. A few kid-free hours to run an errand or two, make some phone calls, get a little exercise, and JewishMOM (in the blogging rather than the real-life sense).
Yesterday was an especially fun morning, spent at a neighborhood get-together for mothers. I sat across from a young mother with a really friendly smile who held her 2-year-old daughter on her lap. Our conversation progressed as ice-breaker conversations between mothers usually do…
“Oh what a cutie! How old is your daughter?”
“She’s 2, her name is Tehila.*”
“She’s home with you?”
“No, she goes to a daycare center every day until 4 PM. But she was sick, so I’m keeping her home today. And it’s like a dream! To have her home the whole day with me, to play with her and be with her…”
A dream? I would use a very different noun to describe how I feel when a child crashes my kid-free mornings. Wave of guilt. Change of topic.
“You send to daycare? Where do you work?”
“I don’t work. I’m recuperating.”
“Oh, refuah shlema…speedy recovery!” Don’t want to be nosy. Change of topic.
Some Jewish geography. Turns out I know her mother. We talk about where she lived before, where she went to school…
“Have you heard of Multiple Sclerosis?” she asks suddenly.
“Yes, I have. My mother has had MS for almost 30 years.”
“Well, I have it too. I was diagnosed 7 months ago, 2 months after my baby was born. That’s why I moved back here, to be near my mother. For a while I got so sick I wasn’t even able to take care of my children on my own.”
And I looked at this beautiful young mother with such a kind and gentle smile, and the bright-eyed daughter on her lap coloring a picture.
And I understood that this ordinary mother-daughter morning was anything but.
A dream come true. Truly.