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day 18: hab a wudderful day

February 19, 2011

One morning this week, the mother of my son’s very best friend from preschool arrived looking uncharacteristically peaked.  Her ordinarily shiny-straight bob was tousled, she was wearing thick glasses instead of contacts, and her usual uniform of skinny pants and ballet flats had been replaced by a tracksuit and Pumas.

“Gub borning,” she said, trying valiantly to smile at me.

She had the flu, as it turned out — a generous gift from her older daughter.

Trying to care for little children while sick adds insult to the injury of just being sick. You’ve been there, and you know it is miserable.  Because I have been fortunate enough to stay well this winter, I wanted to help Preschool Mother.  A few problems:

1).  I had a hellatious work week that didn’t afford much free time for hosting play dates.

2).  My car, while marvelously fuel-efficient, can only accommodate my own two children, and

3).  I had no one to watch my youngest, freeing up space in my car to take on her son.

What to do?

After poring over my schedule yesterday, I came up with an idea.  I approached Preschool Mother in the parking lot.  Hair still tousled, glasses and Pumas firmly in place, she clutched a tissue.

“I wanted to offer to take your son for a play date earlier this week,” I said sheepishly, “but my schedule didn’t allow it.  How about Tuesday?”

I was a little embarrassed to offer, considering she will likely be 100% well by Tuesday.

Preschool Mother is a lot like me, though, I think — a drop-off play date is a drop-off play date, whenever it arrives — and she smiled at me through red eyes.

I then started thinking about who is the actual recipient of Day 18’s gift.  Ostensibly, it is the sick (or formerly sick) mother who has a few childless hours to sleep, blow her nose, and watch American Idol on DVR.  My son, though, will be thrilled by the unusual occurrence of a mid-week play date with his friend and his mother, no annoying little brother invited.  My son’s friend will adore a trip to Chik Fil A and the park.  My youngest will thrill at the undivided attention of his beloved babysitter.  And me?  I get to skip a few hours of work (don’t tell my boss) to play in the sunshine with my favorite four year old.

Everybody wins.

I have to update you on a few items before wishing you well today.

1).  Here is my Be The Match kit, now sealed and waiting for our hyper-friendly mailman:

I know you can't really see it, but that is my DNA

It took all of 40 seconds to swipe the insides of my cheeks with the swabs, and all of 10 seconds to put them in the mail.  So phenomenally easy.  Go here to learn more.

2).  I have received so many encouraging calls, texts, and emails from all of you that I might have to rescind my previous claim that I am “not a crier.”  Among them were calls from each of my nieces, T and M, whose mommas really have raised them right.  I love those girls.

With that, I wish you a healthy day.  For having shown up, I give you the performance (below) of “Beautiful Dawn” by the Wailin’ Jennys.  They sing:

Teach me how to see when I close my eyes
Teach me to forgive and to apologize
Show me how to love in the darkest dark
There’s only one way to mend a broken heart

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