The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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He Still Needs Me

on November 9, 2012

I had an impromptu day off today. Sort of.  Our youngest woke up with a touch of the stomach flu. Enter every working mother’s dilemma: do I tell him he’ll be fine, send him to school anyway and hope he’ll be okay or call in to work and stay home with him?  My boss never minds me calling in for sick children so that isn’t the problem.  The problem is that I don’t get sick pay so staying home hits us in the pocketbook.  Since our youngest is only ten leaving him home alone isn’t an option. After about two minutes consideration I chose my son over our pocketbook and stayed home.

After ensconcing him on the couch I busied about doing laundry, baking, you know: all those things I try to cram in after I get home each afternoon. I miss being a stay at home mom sometimes.  It wouldn’t be practical for us any longer but there are days I wish I could go back to that.  After checking on my little patient every so often a few things became apparent to me.  The first was that while he wasn’t feeling the best he really wasn’t too sick.  He mostly just wanted to be left alone to watch television. He didn’t need me to get him anything. He didn’t want me to cuddle him like he did when he was little and sick. I don’t even have to hold a puke bucket anymore. (Okay – I DON’T miss that part.)  I began to contemplate the fact that he really didn’t need me here at all.  He is perfectly capable of laying on the couch recuperating all by himself.  It made me a little sad the more I thought about it.  He is our youngest. It’s the end of an era.

As I continued through the afternoon catching up on tasks that tend to be neglected I still peeked in on him. He was fine and perfectly content to be by himself.  After talking me out of some plain toast to “test” his stomach he asked if he could go to the family room in the basement. I didn’t see any reason why not.  He seemed to be feeling better. I didn’t hear from him the rest of the afternoon except for the annoyed sounding “Fine Mom!” when I would call down and ask him how he was doing.  Yep. I was feeling pretty insignificant.

After picking up our younger daughter from school I left her “in charge” so I could run in to work for a couple of hours.  It makes my life easier to clear off my desk once a day. I called down to our son to let him know I was leaving and got an “Okay. See you later!”  A few years ago that would have sent him into a tailspin.  He used to not like me to be gone when he didn’t feel good.  He used to want me to sit with him and watch endless videos and play games and do things to make him smile. Now he’s perfectly content to let his older sister be “in charge” upstairs while I’m gone. (Though I did have to assure my daughter that he wasn’t throwing up so there would be no messes to clean up before she let me go.)  I was feeling pretty sad when I left thinking about the fact that he really didn’t need me any more. When I arrived home our oldest daughter was just finishing cooking dinner.  As we sat at the table and my son ate his plain noodles (again to “test” his tummy) he thanked his older sister for cooking for him.  Wow!  Now I felt really insignificant.

That was my day today. Doing things I love to do while feeling like my family really doesn’t need me home to do them any longer.  I was working myself into a real pity party until my son come out of the shower and said, “Thanks for taking care of me today Mom.”  “What?” I asked him. “I didn’t really do anything for you.”  He grinned at me, “You would have if I needed you to. I’m just glad you were here.”  He may as well have handed me a crown.

I figured it out. He did need me to stay home with him today but not because he needed me to cuddle and play games.  He needed me to just be here. He needed to know he was more important than work.  He just needed to know I love him.  Yeah…He still needs me.




7 responses to “He Still Needs Me

  1. javaj240 says:

    I love the part about how he might as well have handed you a crown, LOL! Some days it is the small stuff!

  2. Janelle says:

    Aw, a little sniffle from me at the end. Sweet boy. It’s an adjustment, these changing relationships as they grow.

  3. momshieb says:

    Aw, I so understand this post! It becomes more and more obvious over time that its the little things that really truly are the big things. Thanks for reminding me!

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