Hello world! I’m back in the land of the living after a six-day sick bug, and will be embracing this week with a kiss on the mouth. Six days! I feel like Captain [in] America, waking up after a long sleep with frosticles in my hair.
Only in my case they were greasicles.
My happiest days are the ordinary ones that come after an illness. Yesterday we did nothing special, but everything looked new. I restocked our cupboards, took the boys to the park, scrubbed toilets till they winced, and opened all the windows to let some daylight in. I ate three square meals, and saw none of them again. I even ran (to find a place for H to poo inconspicuously in the park, siiiigh). It felt like the first day in the whole world.
Sick bugs give you pause for thought though, don’t they?
The day before the bug arrived, we were driving back up the hill mid-afternoon. The junior school down the road had just let the kids out, so I slowed right down. As we passed the gates, I spotted a little girl in the front seat of a car, with her mum next to her. She was nine or so, talking about something so exciting she had to stop and do a little dance. All I could see were flailing fists and a long ponytail swishing all and sundry. And her mum, trying hard not to laugh and not succeeding.
We passed them in a second, but there was something so particularly mother-and-daughter about it, it hit me like a lance to the chest. I felt the thwack of it and had to take a breath, stunned. I think there were actually tears in my eyes.
‘I want a girl‘, I thought. The kind of thought that arrives primal in its strength and heft. ‘I want a girl‘.
Two days later, delirious with migraine, joint pains, a digestive system trying to turn itself inside out, I hung my head in a sick bowl. It had been there for some time. Since I couldn’t read, look at a screen or move, I was taking the time to wholeheartedly regret my existence. Regretting it but good.
And the thought came like a lance to the chest.
‘This is what pregnancy’s like‘, I remembered. ‘Except it lasts for weeks and weeks. And you can’t tell anyone. And this time you’d have a school run to do’.
The thought nearly made me heave all over again.
So. Well. You can’t have babies without making them. The NHS doesn’t offer a nine-month voluntary coma either, last time I checked.