Thursday, February 7, 2013

when surrender is the only option ...

I have no idea whether the Groundhog saw his shadow, but I am certain that should I be standing in full sunlight I would not cast one myself.  I'm not sure if I am living this or dreaming ... I have been in bed for a week and reality is  a rather tenuous thing at the moment.  Cowgirl has been by my side so either we're dreaming together or warped Doublemint twins with  hacking coughs, runny noses and insulated steins of Powerade moving to our lips in unison.  

(remember those ads?  I digress ... but I feel I need to explain: my father was an Ad Man ... yes, a Mad Man on Madison Avenue, NYC ... and my childhood was consumed by commercials and jingles.  We didn't watch t.v. shows, we watched the ads.  So lurking deep within this gray matter is a vast vault of 1960s and 70s catch phrases, songs and slogans. Oddly enough, Cowgirl seems to have inherited this trait and at an early age was recounting the wonders of Kaboom Cleaner products to our amazed and disbelieving ears.)

Four days of fevers and gut twisting coughs, cocooned in one family bed with tissues between us and an endless drone of the television with a few highlight moments of Wallace and Gromit movies and coloring book sessions.  Then back to Spongebob or cooking shows.  (Ask Cowgirl who she wants to win Chopped Champions or Top Chef  ... although she is more of an Iron Chef kind of gal.) 

Oddly enough, I could watch cooking shows even though I had absolutely no appetite for 7 days?

I will say, if you're going to be ill (we had some respiratory virus that is powering through our city like a ravenous swarm of locusts) it helps to have a buddy.  But as a mom, there is nothing harder than wanting to care for your cub and feeling so ill you can barely stagger over with bucket and washcloth (yes, one of those moments.)  I remembered the year I was 10 and my mother was in bed with a flu bug and she moaned that she was too ill to prepare Christmas dinner.  Our family did what I'm sure others would have  done in the same situation: stepped back, gasped in horror and disbelief, proclaiming "NO Christmas dinner?!"  Yes, my mother dragged herself from her sickbed, and in her pink quilted robe made the usual holiday feast and no, none of us felt the least bit of guilt or remorse for it.

Until now.  

I'm sorry mom.  I understand now how we played the worst card possible: the mommy guilt card. 

I think that karmic debt has been paid.  I think.  But in the worst moments - when my exhaustion and Cowgirl's fever seemed to never end, I turned to the only source of comfort I had left: my goddess in-box.

 It's something I've adapted from the writer Anne Lamott (she uses a God in-box).  When things seem overwhelming and are beyond my control, the only thing left for me to do is to surrender those worries and concerns to a force greater than myself.  I surrender myself and the messy, tangled yarn ball situation over to the more capable (and multiple)  hands of my goddesses.

I mean, if I'm calling for help, I want some fierce mama-love devouring-everything-in-her-way kind of help.  I write my pleas on a slip of paper and offer it into the box and to a force greater than thee and me. 

Then I breathe and settle back into the pillows, turning my attention to matters I can control: how many paper hearts does one need for a suitably festive Valentine's Day?


Cowgirl's fever broke and we both are emerging slowly slowly back into the world of the living, albeit one lacking the excitement and sparkle of kitchen stadium or the underwater charm of Bikini Bottom.  Wow ... I think I could eat a crabby patty about now. If only my goddess in-box could handle dinner orders. 


  1. oh my dearest love....

    goddess-in-a-box -- i like that. i need one of those just now...February is not my *best* month, i must say...

    be well...healing thoughts to you and C-girl....what better medicine than Spongebob? i can't think of any...


    ps. personally, i am a Valentine's Day i can't offer an appropriate number of hearts...:)

  2. Hope you are feeling better and that your appetite returns for the lovely, romantic meal the rest of your family will prepare for you on Valentine's Day ;)

  3. this conjures up a childhood memory in which the 10 year old me had the flu and my mom had a bad infection following her wisdom teeth removal. We moaned together on the sofa bed for days. glad you've turned the corner!