“Mommy, are you sleeping again?” Tucker asks.
Sleeping is not what I am doing, though it’s not a far stretch. I rouse myself and lean onto one elbow to look at my son, to show him my eyes are open, I am aware, and he had better listen to my words.
“I am resting again, yes. And let me tell you why. When someone that I love is injured, or when one of my children needs to spend any time in the hospital, or when there is any emergency with my family, I am awesome. I will make decisions and think clearly and be so brave and strong and courageous. At the hospital, I fought for you, that you would be protected with the medicine you needed. So now, I’m exhausted. It takes everything I have. I am glad to do it, and I always will, but then I need to rest for the next day or two. This is what I do.”
“Okay, Mommy. You can rest.” I think perhaps my answer was a little longer and more thorough than what he had hoped, since he turned back to the TV like it was his saving grace.
That night, as we had a stay-at-home spaghetti dinner with my parents, my mom asked about our day.
Tyler said, “Mommy rested a lot.”
“Yes, I rested a lot today. And do you remember why? Do you remember what I told you and Tucker? Because I would like to hear you say it so I know that you understand. What did I tell you?”
“Yes, I remember. It’s what you do. You said, ‘This is what I do.'”
This. Is Not. What I Said.
Yes, child. Please misquote me to school teachers, Sunday school teachers, therapists and school counselors alike: My mom sleeps. This is what she does.