I’ve been stuck inside the house with our lovely, chicken pox infected children for nearly 4 days straight. The only escape I made was a very necessary one to the grocery store. And Claire, who has recently started 1st grade, is suddenly quite demanding of being engaged at all moments of the day. She’s been excessively cuddly/clingy this week, possibly expressing the brunt of her being disallowed from touching her siblings. My little princess has been at or attached to my side for several days straight now. So I’ve been more than a little stir-crazy to get out of the house and to get some quiet time by myself, with no attachments.
I was very excited about my Saturday morning–an hour or so browsing at a flea market on base (alone!), then for a haircut and manicure at the salon (alone!). At the flea market, I saw at least a dozen people I know (because living on a military base is like living in a very small town), and had several little conversations while perusing the secondhand goods. In my hour at the flea market, not one, not two, but THREE different well-meaning mother-friends of mine asked where my children were and why I didn’t bring them with me. Of course, I had a very good reason today–they are all possibly contagious. But really, would it be so terrible if a pregnant mother of three small children needed to get away for a couple hours by herself on a Saturday morning? I mean, they WERE with their dad!! I deal with mother-guilt internally a LOT: feeling guilty for going for groceries without a child or two in tow; feeling guilty for having dinner alone with my husband while my children are home with a babysitter; feeling guilty for spending time with girlfriends, which only happens like once a month; feeling guilty for taking a much-needed maternity nap with the boys while Claire is downstairs coloring or watching TV alone; feeling guilty for feeling guilty. Feeling. Guilty. Can’t shake it. What IS it? Wanna lose it. This mother-guilt, too often transmitted through raised eyebrows and surprised undertones from one mother to another, more contagious even than the dreaded chicken pox. Yuck.
So on to activity #2 of the morning–the beauty salon. This is actually pretty funny. As soon as I sat down in the chair to get my hair cut, so also did a precious little 3 year-old black girl sit down right next to me to get her beautiful, natural hair done. Throughout the entirety of my hour in the supposed-to-be sacred salon, this gorgeous girl was seemingly being tortured. Whining, crying, and eventually screaming ensued. (“I hate you!” “This is dangerous!” “It’s hot!” “Leave my hair alone!”)
I wouldn’t even let the manicurist paint my nails because I couldn’t stand to be there for 10 minutes longer! I couldn’t wait to get back to my judgeless house of quarantine and my clingy, pocked kids.
P.S. Keith pointed out to me after reading this post that I missed the irony of my first situation in this blog. Truly, I’m never alone. And no he wasn’t talking about the Holy Spirit. Duh, I’m almost 5 months pregnant, the very definition of “attached.”