Thursday, January 13, 2011

Family is an Awesome Thing

One of the biggest issues that a working mom faces is what to do when your child gets sick. On the one hand, the ever present desire of your heart is to look after the welfare of your child. On the other hand, working women have a duty to their employer to show up to complete the work they were hired to do. And on the third hand, there's the paycheck. The paycheck that can make a huge difference if it is not there on billpaying day.

I once told my husband that he needed to become a famous person so he could support me in the lifestyle to which I could become accustomed, he apparently did not believe me. So we both work at this point in our lives, and it will be that way for awhile. When our beautiful little big boy is sick, one of us is more than willing to stay at home with him.

Except...when I have federal deadlines to meet, kids to test, important parent meetings to attend, lesson plans to create, writing projects to present, and workshops. Then it's not so easy to decide to stay home with a sick child. Larry usually ends up staying home, because he, at one point, had more sick days than I did. But it is getting close to the Imaginary Time, as I call it, when all of the school children will suddenly and magically learn to read fluently and write coherently for the flagrantly worshipped idol called TAKS. So now his days are limited as much as mine. We live in Converse, but carpool to New Braunfels. Sometimes we work late, for various reasons. Sometimes,as painful as it feels, we just cannot drop everything and leave to go pick up Zane.

Yet just as we have been gifted with the most miraculous child, we have been gifted with the blessing of family. My family is not very chatty. We don't talk a lot on the phone. We do try to eat lunch together every Sunday, although I don't get to pay as much attention as I would like because I have to pay attention to Zane around sharp knives and forks. My husband marvels at how little I seem to communicate with my family, and I marvel at his seemingly constant communication with his mother. (when we first started dating, Larry was on the phone with his mother at least 7 times a day. I am not kidding.)

But here's the thing: whether I talk to my parents or my brother five times a day or never, they are there for me when I need them. My sister-in-law spent two years taking care of Zane for us because he wasn't supposed to be at a daycare. Denise did this cheerfully on most days, and Zane thrived. He still talks about going to 'Auntie's house'.

On Friday, when the daycare called and asked us to come pick up Zane because he was ill, Denise went and picked him up. Then my parents picked him up from her house and took him to our house and played with him until we were able to get home. Today, Denise is going to be taking care of Zane(once again, he's got the runs, so no daycare). If my parents finish their appointments early(my dad has a CT scan to check for any cancer, they are going to go and get Zane and take him home and will watch him until we are able to get there. Occasionally, when we have to work late, Larry's mother will go and pick up Zane from daycare and take him home and wait for us.

I think that it doesn't so much take a village to raise a child as it does a family. Parenting is such an extreme sport that you never know what is going to happen. I am grateful that Zane has such loving and wonderful people in his family to help raise him up to be a good man. His Mama and Daddy sure do need and appreciate the help!

1 comment:

  1. You're so very lucky because the closest family we have is about 45 minutes away where all 4 grandparents are still working. If Lex is sick, it's me, and it's almost always me. It's just 'easier' for me to take the time off than it is for Dennis to find a sub, get sub notes prepared, etc.


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