From December 18:
It was yet another sign that I was nearing a breaking point.
Stephen came home at the end of a typical (rough) afternoon, as I was trying to cook dinner and hold Cranky Jem at the same time. He broke the news: he had been feverish and achy all day, and his doctor-brother thought he might be coming down with the flu.
My response was pretty much as selfish and unsympathetic as it gets. I slammed cabinet doors and snapped at the kids. I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t actually say the words, “You WOULD get the flu today!” out loud, as if contracting an illness was Stephen’s passive-aggressive way of sneaking out of responsibilities at home.
After just a minute or two of mental ranting, I had to acknowledge the truth: My so-called anger was really just jealousy. ”For YEARS I have been wanting a sick day!” I thought, fantasizing (yet again) about a whole day or more to lay in bed, unable to do anything but sleep and read and watch Netflix. Feverish chills, vomiting, and all the rest seemed a pittance to pay for that kind of guilt-free solitude.
We ate dinner (hamburger steak with a side of white rice and stony silence), and I bathed the kids and put them to bed while Stephen (like a champ!!) cleaned up the kitchen.
A cocktail of over-the-counter medication, sixty gallons of water, and a good night’s sleep seems to have done the trick for Stephen; he woke up feeling much perkier today and we’re hoping he just had a touch of the same pseudo-flu that went around my family last week.
Alas, I woke up feeling fine as well, nothing out of sorts except a little lingering self-pity and December blues. The doctor says I need to take a pinch of Solitude and a large dose of Get Over Yourself for as long as symptoms persist.
After years of waiting and hoping, I finally was blessed with a sick day of my own just a few days after writing this post. It was everything I’d dreamed it would be, except that my head hurt too much to get any reading done. But I got lots of great rest, feasted on lemon-lime Gatorade and chicken broth, and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the Polar Express for the first time.