Having a sick boy forces me to slow down. To notice him more, and to relax and enjoy the short time alone with him before he enters school in the fall. He begs me to cuddle with him, and instead of attacking my long to-do list, I shut down my laptop and go join him on the couch. He asks a million random questions which I must summon my tired brain to answer, and we giggle over silly cartoons together.
He will remember that I took this time with him. It's a matter of building memories together. I want him to feel cared for and loved, and prioritized above all else. I will have many other days to write and accomplish something measurable, but for these few days, I am writing on the wall of his heart and mind, and imprinting myself there for when he will need to access that sense of love and care.
Investing in our kids is a lifelong endeavour. This notion helps me over the guilt when I explode at them, or the nagging worry that I'm missing the boat in some aspect of my parenting. It's true that we don't remember days, we remember moments. It all adds up, over the course of their lives, and if the good outweighs the bad, their memories will reflect this mathematical formula. If we screw up as parents (and we do, over and over again), we have another chance to do the right thing, and leave no doubt whatsoever in our kids' minds that they are loved and cherished above all else.
Taking this parenting course has made me aware again of the fact that everyone wants to be a good parent. Everyone loves their kids. We all have varying levels of competency and ability, but we all love, from the bottom of our hearts, and we all want the best for our kids. This knowledge helps me to be less judgemental, and more supportive. I hate feeling judged as a mom, for any reason and by anybody, so why do I feel it's okay to do it to someone else?
Having these precious few sick days has been good for me. I've had to put aside my desires and needs, and focus on William. He needed me, and I was able to be there for him. A year ago, when I was working part-time, I would have been stressed calling in sick or trying to work from home, or begging Jason to be here so I could go somewhere else. This time I was able to relax and be with him, and for the first time, there was nowhere else I really wanted to be.