The alarm woke me at 5:30 and I lay quiet, listening for sounds that would assure me that my daughter was up and at the task of preparing for work. (up at 5 a.m., leaves for work at 6:30)
I could see a light on, but could not hear her.
She arrived home yesterday hoarse and tight-chested, with a nagging dry cough and a slight elevation in temperature.
My assumption was that the nagging cough and tight chest would give way to forceful, productive coughing when she woke this morning, especially after showering and becoming active.
I expected to hear her coughing, but did not.
My mind immediately clicked into overdrive.
- is she worse?
- is it the flu? or that virus that’s going around?
- will she be able to go to work?
- does she need my help?
- why isn’t she coughing?
- why don’t I smell coffee brewing?
- what’s the temperature outside?
- are the roads icy?
- should I get up and check on her?
Moms tend to think this way.
At 5:45, I sat up and slid to the edge of the bed. Hubby roused, asking if I would return to sleep longer. I planned to, just wanted to check on her. After all, it’s Saturday and though we have plans later, we don’t need to rise before 8:30.
The house was quiet. The only lights on were in her bedroom and the kitchen.
She was sitting at the table with breakfast before her. I could tell by looking at her that she did indeed plan to work, and she was worse.
Knowing first hand how bronchitis is first thing in the morning, I held my hand up, indicating she was not to speak and asked her three questions.
“Are you feeling better?” (She shook her head as she took a bite of breakfast.)
“Are you coughing much?” (She nodded her head and made wry face.)
“Any fever?” (Once again, she nodded, and this time opened her mouth to speak.)
I knew what would happen and stepped back a couple of feet. As soon as she tried to form a word, she began to cough. My germaphobic mind imagining…well, you get the picture, I’m sure.
As long as she was silent, coughing was not an issue. But, silence was not what she wanted.
The more she tried to talk, the better her voice became as she coughed up and cleared out the gunk.
I learned her fever is just a slight elevation, there’s no achiness except in her chest, what she coughs up tastes awful, and though she didn’t feel better she was going to work.
We talked a bit about the road conditions – they were wet when she came home yesterday and the temp was currently only 30 degrees out.
No, there wasn’t anything I could do to help her. She was fine.
I punched the POWER button on my laptop and watched the screen light up. I wanted to, by quickly checking the weather and road conditions, satisfy myself that she would not have any problems getting to work due to ice.
“30 degrees with freezing fog.” As I pondered “freezing fog” and what that meant, my daughter spoke from the kitchen.
“Oh! I just checked my schedule…I don’t have to clock in until 7:30. I could have slept another 30 minutes!”
“Slept another 30 minutes,” my mind repeated as I I looked at the time on the laptop. It was almost 6.
I thought of hubby snoozing peacefully in bed. I thought of how unnecessary my intrusion into her life was this morning and that I could be snuggled next to hubby for another two and a half hours.
“…another two and a half hours,” my mind repeated dreamily.
But, my body was awake and she was dragging my mind with her.
I typed in suzansays on the bar at the top of the weather page and clicked on the link that appeared. My blog popped up and I signed in.
Crawling into bed next to hubby would accomplish only one thing – waking him. My hands and feet were already cold. There was no way I would be able to quickly relax and slip into slumber. No, I was up for the day and would begin my next post…this post.
And, so, with nothing else on my mind I began to write as my daughter slipped past me to her room where she lounged on her bed and idled away her extra precious minutes before she must leave for work at 7.
About 10 minutes before 7 o’clock I asked my daughter, who was feeling more herself and more able to converse and coughing much more productively (and spraying germs far and wide), if she had checked her car. It was 30 degrees and humid out. That usually means frost.
No, she had not – hadn’t even thought of it. (What a Georgia girl she is!)
Knowing what the cold air does to her lungs when she is well and uncertain how she would fare being out in the cold with bronchitis, I grabbed my jacket, a pancake flipper, a cloth and my bottle of rubbing alcohol and headed out the door.
There was only a thin coating of frost and I quickly scraped the windows, then poured a little alcohol on the cloth and wiped them down.
As I finished, my daughter appeared. I suggested caution on the bridges and assured her the roads would be fine – wet, not icy.
She thanked me for clearing her windows and I wished her a good day and headed back into the house where I stood at the front door and watched and waved goodbye.
I noticed a twinge in my chest – just right of center – as I closed the front door and wondered if I’d pulled something when I reached across the car to scrap the back window. Before returning to my laptop, I disinfected the kitchen and sprayed down the bathroom – germaphobe that I am – then washed my hands.
Since returning to this post I’ve noticed a vague itchiness in my chest and have developed a dry hacky cough and I feel like I need to clear my throat, but it does no good. My throat, down low, feels a little raspy…not quite raw, but irritated. And, when I inhale I notice a distinct tightness center chest.
Guess I sprayed too much air sanitizer…. 🙂
I think of Hubby sleeping. He has another hour to go before I awaken him and his day begins. My day is now two hours underway (yes, it’s taken me that long to reach this point) and with another hour of quiet before me, I find myself wondering how best to make use of it.
This post is nearing completion. It’s time to reflect on what I’ve written and why – and what can be gained from my Saturday rise surprise. (I’ve decided not to edit, which is unusual for me – will leave it as it was written.)
My daughter does not need my mothering. She, fully capable of managing herself, was up and about the task of preparing for work. It wasn’t necessary for me to get up and check on her. At least, not to her it wasn’t. But, to the mother in me, it was necessary for me. I needed to know she was okay. That’s why I set the alarm. That’s why I got up.
Sure, I could have peeked at her and gone back to bed, pulled the cover over my head and slept another two and a half hours.
But, she would not have known and it was important to me that she know. Not that I was up checking on her. But, that she know that I love her and am concerned about her – that I care about her and for her – that as she steps toward full independence I am cheering her on and watching her back.
My son, married this past June, had been a free agent for several years and no one knows how hard it was for me to love him without burdening him with my intrusions – to love him enough to let him go with no apron strings attached so when he found the love of his life (and he has) he would be fully free to bind himself to her with his love for her, that he might lash himself securely to her love for him, and that they might entangle themselves completely in their love for each other.
14 minutes remain of my quiet opportunity. This post has been 2 hours and 16 minutes in the making. Perhaps I said all just to reach the point where I could say what was in the last two paragraphs. My heart is light and my mind clear. It’s time to stop.
Thanks for listening.