The bathroom light pierces the darkness of my bedroom from the hallway, where so soon the sounds of little feet are heard.

A Floor, A Door, Ajar

A quick glance to my window reveals no sunny rays peeking through the heavy blinds and curtains.  The pounding in my temple confirming another rainy day in this unseasonable stretch of November warmth that suggests Mother Nature is into her cups again.   A swallow is followed by a grimace as my throat constricts like sandpaper on cement.  Ugh.  This. Cold.

A smile does flicker though; today can be a day of rest for mom.  For the first time in 2 weeks I have no plans and nothing to do other than a quick grocery run.  Then: me, couch, tea, and Netflix are having a rainy afternoon date.

I feel her presence beside the bed before I actually see or hear her.   The heat coming from her tiny body eclipses the cool air on my window side of the bed.  Her pale face practically glows in the semi darkness.  I turn to see her eyes big and wide caught in that hallway light like a tiny animal that has come seeking it's mama, with great effort.

"Mommy??"  her tiny voice squeaks barely audible.

"Oh baby... yep. Mama can tell.  You're not feeling well right?"

The standard mama health test of hand to forehead confirms.  I don't even need a thermometer: fever.
And just like that, mama's day of rest melted away.

"Let's go get you some medicine baby, and then you can watch TV on the couch while I get your brother and sister off to school."

"Okay mommy."  Drawn out like a sob from the soles of her feet, which shuffle along behind me.  No protests.  Not even energy for tears.  She follows, meek and willing.

Crap.  She will have to go to the bus stop with us.  In the rain.  Sick.
Crap.  I can't get groceries now.
Triple crap: she will hog the Netflix! 

Okay.  Breathe.  My lungs protest.   But... we do both get to stay in pajamas all day!
Our biggest decision can be whether to watch Tangled or Toy Story.    Oh heck, you know we're watching both if we have time.

Couch snuggles and Disney.  Not such a bad day after all.

Or maybe Marvel Lego Super Heroes on the XBox.   Beating me will make her feel better.  One of us should be happy.

My feet are shuffling along now too.    I step into the brightness of the kitchen, start gathering food and lunch kits.  Auto pilot.  My one eye has a blinding pain behind it from the headache.   Monkey Boy and Angel Girl can be heard fighting downstairs.   ZooZoo whines on the couch, struggling with the Wii remote.  Netflix can't load fast enough.

I can't move fast enough today to meet all their needs.
I can't meet my own needs.  The hot flush creeps up from my chest, as it constricts; burning pain erupting in my lungs.  A coughing fit doubles me over, gripping the counter for support.

I glance at the clock on the stove.  45 minutes.   Hold on to get the other two on the bus.
I choke down two cold medicine tablets, scalding my lip with the hot tea I manged to brew.  God bless you Keurig.

Just. Hold. On.

I glance from clock, to my big kitchen window, where the rain falls steadily on the forgotten fallen leaves.   I glance to the sky, lift my eyes up... seeking...

.... but how?
I bite my lip to keep the hot tears from flowing.   One day.   I just needed one day.  To get myself well.  Tomorrow's a PA day - they're ALL here.   I need to get better.

Glancing skyward still; but now.... How?

*Stay tuned to see how this little sick of being sick pity party ends.*