It started on Monday. I woke with a sore throat. However, my glands were not swollen and I did not have a fever. It did not make sense to stay home. It made more sense to battle on, get to work, educate America.
Tuesday, I felt the same. I drank two cups of hot bouillon on the way to work. The hot liquid made my throat feel better. Once the effects of the heat wore off, I sipped water for the rest of the day.
Wednesday, the sore throat was enhanced by a heavy chest and a hacking cough. At times, I coughed so violently, I thought something unnatural was going to pop out of my mouth. The nagging cough intensified the soreness of my throat, and my voice started feeling the influence.
Thursday, my students said to me, “You sound terrible!” I realized I needed to take a break, to sleep a little more, to rest and not speak. Because my voice was actually cutting in and out by the end of yesterday, I decided I wasn’t doing anyone a favor and that I was doing myself a disservice by not resting and taking care of myself. I decided to take off work today and rest.
It would be perfect, I thought. Tom would get the girls off to school and then Linus and I could rest all day long. They say your body does its best healing while your sleeping, so my goal was to sleep all day.
But then the snow picked up and the girls didn’t have school. All morning long, they took turns coming in and out of my bedroom interrupting my rest and relaxation.
“Can you put in the DVD for me?
“Can I have Cheetos?”
“What’s for lunch?”
“I’m bored; there’s nothing to do.”
“Are you going to the grocery store. We don’t have any milk.”
It seemed like every time I dozed off, someone new was shaking me, asking me a question or telling me about a problem. I just wanted to be left alone! I kindly (okay, not so kindly, I pretty much threatened bodily harm) told the girls that mother needed her rest, and that they were old enough to make decisions for themselves. At 9:30, they all seemed to disappear into their bedrooms or the basement, so I settled in and fell asleep.
It felt like seconds. Carson was tapping me on the shoulder.
“What?” My blood was boiling. Could she, the oldest, not listen? “I just want to sleep!”
“You have been sleeping, Mom, for three hours. I thought you should eat something. I made you some soup.”
I rolled over. She was standing there holding my favorite soup mug. I could see the soup was piping hot by the steam floating above the bowl. I sat up and she handed it to me. Chicken Noodle. My favorite. She handed me a spoon.
“Thank you, Honey. This is amazing,” I said.
She smiled. “Sure Mom, you need someone to take care of you, too.”
She handed me a spoon and the television remote and walked out of the room. I took a spoonful. It tasted delicious. I turned on the television and nestled in to eat my lunch.
I am glad I took the day off today. The sleep helped me heal, and the love of my children made me feel better.