Thursday, February 11, 2016

Giving Thanks for Strep

Yesterday came the call every working parent dreads: "Your daughter has a fever and you need to pick her up." We immediately went into emergency-preparedness mode, shuffling to make sure she got to the doctor and making plans to have her home the next day. Fortunately, we received the diagnosis of strep throat which, unlike what I call the "$40 virus" (named for the doctor's copay), is treatable with antibiotics and improves almost immediately. She will be in school on Friday, hurray. And, she got sick at the best possible time because I am off on Thursdays.

Yet Thursdays are my day to get stuff done. So, this morning as my daughter perkily ate breakfast after her second dose of antibiotics, I was calculating how many of my plans for today were in the trash. Certainly the things that are just for me, like a good long run, were off the table, as was my introvert time folding laundry over television. Powering through five errands at once? Unlikely. And as my mood started to tip off the precipice into grumpiness...two little arms reached around me and said, "Mommy, I'm so excited to have a day just with you."

In that moment, the grumpiness was erased. What a gift, as someone who usually works on six days of the week, to have a full day with my daughter and enjoy time together. My daughter proceeded to inform me that we were going to have a girls' day because her brother would be at school. Since she was fever-free and chipper, we found ourselves out and about doing some of the errands on my list.

Today I learned that my daughter loves shopping. I knew it in the abstract, but never had the patience (or time) to watch her discovering the numerous useless items of kitsch that can be found in Bed, Bath, and Beyond while searching for the one item you actually need. Ladybug timers! Egg cups shaped like eggs! Odor-eliminating beads that glittter! Fruit snacks! When we passed the nail polish, she asked what I thought about doing manicures, and we each picked a new color for our polish collection. Then, we went to DSW to pick out the hiking shoes my family is giving me for my upcoming birthday. I always wondered who on this planet would buy the gaudy shoes in the clearance section...and now I know that person is my daughter! She excitedly found shoes in my size, trying to convince me that I could use a floral-printed, rhinestone-enhanced, four-inch pair of heels, or rhinestone-covered flats, or maybe a fuschia purse.

There is tremendous joy in hearing my daughter's imagination and energy in the hours which are usually spent at school. Today I was the one listening to made-up songs, conversations with stuffed animals, and the questions that popped into her mind. I don't have to ask about her day when she's tired--I've had the pleasure of experiencing it with her. She kept telling me, "It's fun to have a girls' day, Mommy." Why yes, my love, it is. Clearly you and I both needed it. Next time, let's do it without the strep throat!

No comments:

Post a Comment