The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


In Sickness & In Health

Your husband is sick.


You look at him, surrounded by piles of Kleenex, as he tells you he doesn’t feel good.  All you can think is, “Whatever.” 

You’re searching for a nurturing bone in your body but apparently those bones have gone elsewhere. You think some of them are down the hall, in the bedroom with the blue and red dinosaur blanket and the multiple Lego configurations scattered across the floor.  When the curly-haired inhabitant of that room gets the sniffles, you bring washcloths to cool his skin, lay next to him to bring solace, hum old lullabies from his “baby days.” 

Your Nurturing Self also makes a great showing at work where you find it easy to soothe anxiety, listen to problems, and brainstorm solutions.  There, you have all kinds of concern; you’re a font of generosity, you have a wealth of patience to dispense. 

Not so with Spouse. In your defense, {OR But} he’s always got something. Asthma and allergies.  Every respiratory infection in the universe seeks him out like bees to burgers.  Which reminds you of his bee allergy, making it tricky to eat outside in the summer.  You and your son will be happily plowing through your plates as your sullen husband swats away the insects swarming around his head.  Muttering under his breath, something about the location of his Epi-pen. 

Did you mention his accident-proneness? 

A family bike-ride will soon see him teetering over and crashing.  Leaving you to carry on with your son while Spouse limps home alone.  On a kayaking day, that’s him, tipped over in the water, splashing and floundering.  Before he huddles on-shore, under a blanket with the chills.

It doesn’t matter that you’ve invited other families over to BBQ, or that your son is looking forward to the Science Museum day that he was promised.  Nor does it count that there’s the humdrum of homework and making lunches, the diorama that needs to be made, the Plaster of Paris recipe that needs to be un-crumpled from the bottom of the backpack. 

Daddy is down for the count.  

So guess who’s It?  That would be you.

To be sure, you’re grateful.  You’re blessed with the sturdiest of genes, which you accompany with affirmations about your vibrant health.  You tell yourself you can’t claim moral superiority for good health; it’s the luck of the draw.  Be careful of the karma; you never know what tomorrow will bring.  But the smaller, meaner part of you thinks, NOT fair.  Maybe you’d like to have some down time and emerge hours later to find the house straightened, dinner prepared, your kid busy drawing a ‘Get Well’ card. 

“Where’s Daddy, Mama?” your son asks for the millionth time.

“Oh he’s resting sweetie, he’s trying to feel better,” you shoot for casual and easy-going, you really do.  Where is Daddy? You wonder, grinding your teeth.  Daddy is MIA.

That’s not really true; Daddy is home.  It’s just that he’s lying cozily in bed under a mountain of blankets, filling the air with stale smells, snoring at the top of his plugged nose capacity.  You should stroke his forehead; ask if he needs aspirin or a cup of tea.  Better yet, you should tiptoe around the room to protect his sleep, maybe write a little care note for him to see when he awakens. 

Honey, hope you feel better soon.  

When what you really want to do is clomp around the room wearing your loudest shoes.  Throw the windows open and yell, “Up and at ‘em.  Rise and shine!”  But that wouldn’t be right. 

In sickness and in health.  Hmmm. 

Suddenly a new possibility dawns on you and just thinking about it has you feeling better already.  It goes like this: you gather up your son and his card-drawing materials, don pajamas and fuzzy socks, your favorite novel and what the heck, tea and crackers.  Ritz, Spouse’s favorite.  Then you pile into bed, all three of you, chewing L-O-U-D-L-Y on the crackers, sprinkling the crumbs liberally around the sheets.  Spreading out, making yourselves comfy, pushing your husband ever so slightly near to, but not over the edge. 


By Mary Beth Marra

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