I packed my hiking boots. My serger. Ingredients for spinach enchiladas. The book I am writing. My knitting. Some homemade chai.
We'd been planning it for weeks: a three-day craft weekend at the cabin. My friend, my sister, and me. A break from life sandwiched between two fly fishing weekend for Pete. Recharging my battery. Going away. (Sans family.) Something I have only done twice before during my almost decade of motherhood.
And then last week I got the flu.
When I thought about the weekend trip I wasn't worried that it would be an issue. I had a week to feel better. And I was right. I feel great. But then…
Pete got the flu. Last night. And I was supposed to leave today. Pete never gets sick. It didn't even occur to me.
"I'm okay," he assured me. "Don't worry. We'll be fine." He forced a smile while holding his belly. Then he laid down on the bed and appeared to fall asleep. I kept packing, but knitted my brow.
Taking care of two kids alone with the flu sounded horrible. But my flu was only bad for 24 hours, so by morning he'd be okay, right? Right. I kept packing. And worrying.
The kids and I spent the day in the country with some other unschoolers. We talked, we ate, and they played in the sunshine, the mud, and the watercress. Sage was happy and engaged all day. And then, just before we left (two hours before I was to depart on my solo trek) he said, "I don't feel well."
1/2 hour later he was sound asleep in bed, his cheeks flushed with a coming fever. I knew it was a fever. I could see it in his eyes. My sewing machine was on the front porch. Next to the cooler and my knitting basket. And my friend pulled up to the curb.
Slowly, we loaded her car. I ran inside to check Sage. His eyes were glassy, his cheeks were hot. He had a fever. I asked him how he felt about me leaving, and he just stared at me with wet eyes, barely shaking his head.
I walked back outside. I unloaded he car and said goodbye. And I'm sorry.
I was staying home.
I went in the house and told Pete I wanted to 1/2 sigh from relief and 1/2 cry. Because, yes – I was so disappointed that I was not going on my trip. But I would have hated to be gone when my kids family needed me. Because nothing is more important than my family.
Not even knitting. Uninterrupted. For three days.
Nope, not even that.
Edited: I wrote that last night. I'm so glad I stayed. In the night, my boy snuggled into my arm, we tucked in for sleep. He whispered, "Mama, I'm glad you stayed home. It's just… mamas are somehow more comforting than papas."
I get it. I remember feeling that way sometimes too.
And during the night he needed me. Headache, body aches, general icks. Today? I think everyone is feeling better. (Could it be true?) So perhaps I'll make it on my trip after all. And two days of interrupted knitting is almost as good as three.