Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm (NOT) Super-Mom

I don't know if this is a phenomenon unique to single moms, or if it's common to moms in general, but I have an insatiable need to believe that I ought to be able to "do it all", and to do it alone. Then, every so often, circumstances arise to disabuse me of that notion. This is the most recent "gentle reminder" that "be all I can be" may mean less than I'd like to think.

Calyssa was ill for a couple of days late last week, which is a rarity for her. She was feeling much better by Saturday morning, so we went about our normal Saturday business of karate, dance, gymnastics, and my Weight Watchers meeting. After lunch, I suggested to her that we nap together; I figured that she could use the rest, having just recovered from a bug. Upon awaking a couple of hours later, she was dandy, but I was burning up with fever. My temperature was slightly above 102. So I dragged myself into the bathroom and discovered that my medicine cabinet held no Tylenol, no ibuprofen, nor anything else that might be suitable for reducing fever.

My fault; I should be better prepared. So I figured I should go to the store to buy some more...but I couldn't get down the stairs, much less in the car and on the road. CVS is only four blocks away, could I walk it? No. I put Calyssa in bed with me with my portable DVD player and tried to keep warm while I determined my next move. It became increasingly clear that I needed help...but from whom? Who could actually be willing to come out on a Saturday evening to bring me medicine that I really ought to have in my home at all times?

The answer: my close, non-judgmental friend Jen, a former single mom herself. I picked up my phone and weakly texted: "Help plz." The immediate reply: "What do you need?" Having spoken to her since, I now know that she thought that maybe my darling daughter was melting down and I needed a breather. But no, "Ran out of Tylenol, fever going up," was what I tapped out. "Be there soonest," flashed on my screen.

I dozed off to the sound of Calyssa's Disney Princess movie, and very soon my own personal angel appeared in my bedroom, with a brand-new bottle of the coveted caplets in her hand. She took one look at me and said, "Um, I'm taking Calyssa home with me. You get some rest, and I'll see you tomorrow evening." Evidently I told her that I'd pick Calyssa up before church, to which she replied, "Honey, it's 9 at night and you have a high fever. You're NOT going to church. GET SOME REST!"

Have I mentioned what an absolutely WONDERFUL friend Jen is? Not only did she keep my kid until the next evening, but she also told me that she'd had very nearly the same experience once upon a time. Somehow, she managed to assuage my "mommy guilt" and rescue me at the same time.

So, I have received my comeuppance. As Jen reminded me, "Us Moms have got to stick together." Calyssa doesn't need for me to do everything alone; she just needs me to do my best, and know when to call in the reinforcements to pitch clean-up.