Resuce Me From Flu Season

by Justine Crimans
Originally Published: 

It’s day five in solitary confinement.

The outside world looks so beautiful from this side of the snot encrusted windows. I stare at my phone and beg it to ring or beep or buzz. Please, I beg. Let there be someone out there who remembers me in this dark time. I fear I’ve forgotten how to hold a conversation. Will they remember me at preschool when I am paroled? I can’t even recall the face of my favorite barista. I haunt the halls of my own house forced to repeat the same chores over and over. Laundry. Dishes. Diapers. Dinner. Laundry. Rinse and Repeat.

In my mind, I am out on all the glorious playdates I had scheduled. I shop the aisles of Target with my baby as the older one is at preschool. I meet my mom friends for coffee or just get together at their houses for lunch. I happily drive miles along the highway just to keep the boys asleep a few minutes longer. It is an idyllic life I enjoyed on the front side of flu season.

But for one cough from a fellow student, one wrong handshake, one kiss from an adoring grandparent, I might still belong to that world of “yes, I will meet you at the pet store to let the kids look at fish and gerbils while we enjoy the latte life.” Not the, “I now have nothing to wear as bodily fluids from every orifice have crusted the last pair of pants that fit me life.” But don’t cry, my baby. Throwing up is scary. It’s ok. Don’t worry your little head my poor, sick, boy. I was missing the laundry room anyway.

The baby who is crying and coughing in the next room over reminds me that the light at the end of the tunnel is still days away.

Today, I must strive to find my Zen in the midst of endless cartoons of rhyming tank engines and moralizing Muppets. Surrender is the verb of solitary confinement. I will fight no battles today. I will make no surge towards lofty goals like showering and breakfast. I will let the clock run out in whatever fashion the hours dictate

One day I will beat my breast and demand that lunch be something more than chicken nuggets. I will forge new educational pathways and turn off the claymation farm animals. But today is not that day. Today I take a knee and pray for healing and long nap-times and that my husband will turn up with a special treat just for Mommy.

When the sun comes up Monday morning, I will rejoin society.

When the sun comes up Monday, I will greet the fresh air with a smile and a fresh batch of sidewalk chalk. Or something.

My phone will be in my hand and I will be texting everyone I know to come and meet the day with me.

Until the next sneeze.

Or cough.

Or until my husband comes down with the flu.

Related post: Being ill, Vertically

This article was originally published on