this morning, jude bounded into our bedroom at nearly 9 am, declaring with her usual enthusiasm, “good morning mommy! good morning mama! good morning ziggy! how’d you sleep? have good nap?” and then charleydog licked her hand and she collapsed into a heap of tears and angst. “noooooo! doooooon’t!” when i kissed her head, i knew right away that she was burning up with fever and said as much. she agreed with me, though she’s never heard the phrase ‘burning up’ before. when i saw worry on her face, i knew she was envisioning actual fire, so i clarified: i mean you have a fever and your body feels hot. apparently relieved, she cheerily exclaimed, “yeah! i feel very sick. medicine will make me feel happy!” and so began our day.
[and yes, i did postpone jude’s haircut. le sigh. but i kept my appointment! first haircut since june! huzzah!]
it’s been house of sick around here since halloween. h seems to have a cold? cedar fever? flu? that is not letting her go. j has been whiny and a bit puny, but with no discernible illness till this morning. mister zig has been even more a mommy’s boy than usual, only wanting to be attached to me, and with constant suckling access at that. he coughs every now and then, and is intermittently stuffy, which pisses him off. and me? i’ve been on the cusp of sick, loading up on vitamin c all day.
jude with a fever is more my speed, h confessed today, as j only wanted to read books, quietly build robots with her blocks, and lounge on the couch watching clifford. she happily took a nap, too, which is a rarity anymore. i agreed, and added that, despite everyone feeling meh, days like today are my favorite. outside, the day was unseasonably blustery and cold. rain smacked the windows in sheets. music played throughout the morning: lisa hannigan, patty griffin, paul simon. and jude actually wanted to be snuggled. instead of her usual act of demanding that i not look at her or leave the room when she feels vulnerable, she came to me. she sat in my lap. she put down her unrelenting independence and allowed me to mother her. i love you, my mommy, she said a lot.
for a little while this evening, i held ziggy in one arm and jude in the other. both were limp sacks of potatoes against me. my two children. i know that my warm body and my predictable, steady breathing were a comfort to them; mommies are generally reliable for that sort of thing. it doesn’t get better than this, i told h in that moment. i hope that my daughter and son remember today–sensory memories planted deep into their subconscious selves. when they’re grown and are desperate to conjure safety and home, may they remember me and now, and feel whole.