Monday, May 01, 2017

Radio Silence

Today was the day I dreaded: My daughter got sick at school and I was physically unable to answer the call.

I think, maybe, she's forgiven me. 

I was in the pool teaching a swim class while my daughter was across town puking in the bathroom while on a field trip.

For a half hour, the school, my husband and a mom friend from school tried to reach me on my cell phone, which was neatly tucked into my swim bag.

For a half hour, my daughter was feeling unwell and probably wanted her mother (but would never admit that, because she's 8).

For a half hour, no one could reach me. I didn't even check my phone after my lessons. I finally glanced at my phone after being informed by a co-worker that my daughter was ill and my friend was trying to reach me. This dear, sweet woman scooped my child up from her field trip and delivered her, with a medical-grade barf bag, to me at work. (Thank God for friends who stock barf bags in their van!)

Normally, I'd relish the chance to be beyond reach. I can't go to the bathroom without my 10-year-old finding me to urgently ask when we can go to the Grand Canyon.

This was different, though. Yes, it was just a half hour.  Yes, my tribe stepped in. Yes, it happens to all working parents.

But it was the first time it had happened to me. It's the first time that I've not been able to drop everything right away for my child.

It was my first brush with working mom guilt.

Tomorrow will be my second brush with that guilt when I have to teach swim classes on my youngest's birthday.

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