Eight days into the new school year and I see that dreaded number of my cell phone. I’m in a planning meeting for my MUMs group and the school nurse’s number pops up on my phone. “It can’t be,” I think to myself, willing that she accidentally dialed me by mistake. I excuse myself and take the call. My seven year old daughter is in her office for the third time complaining of a tummy ache. It’s 9:30 a.m. and she seemed anything but sick when I put her on the bus today. The nurse asks me to come get her and I, of course, oblige.
I walk in to pick up my daughter and she is all smiles. A far cry from the “sick” child I envisioned when I got the call. I give her a big hug, sign her out and we are on our way. In the car, I explain to her that when we get home, she needs to go upstairs and take a nap. “All sick kids need their rest,” I tell her and then I add, “as a good mommy, it’s my job to make you feel better.” Thinking of the importance of setting some boundaries as I fear that I’m getting played for a free day home from school.
As we walk in the door, she hits me with it.
“Mom,” she says “I don’t need a nap. I think a movie with you on the couch will make me feel better.”
I look at her and respond, “But you are sick. A good rest is what you need.”
“Mommy, do you know why I’m really sick?” she asked.
“What’s wrong?” I inquired, feeling as I’m getting set up for a good one.
With a huge smile she responded, “I have a Love Fever. I love you so much I need to spend time with you to feel better.”
In that moment, time froze. My heart was exploding with joy over her sweet words, but my brain was telling me, “Don’t reward this because she’ll be getting a love fever every day.” While I realized I had been duped, I couldn’t help but feel a little encouraged in the mom department.
So I did what I did. I wrapped my arms around her. Picked her up and swirled her around and told her that I have a constant Love Fever for her. Then I told her that she first needed to take a nap to get rid of the “tummy ache” she had in school and then we could play some board games and hang out when she woke up.
The truth is that those first two weeks of school were busy. We went from hanging out in the summer to only seeing each other for 6 waking hours a day once school started. Maybe she did miss me. She’s seven and being on the bus and in school for eight hours a day is a big transition. I was flattered inside.
As I considered more about Love Fever, I think we all need to catch the love fever for our husbands and our kids and take action. How often do we spend time just focusing on one other person near and dear to our heart for an extended amount of time?
This year, I’m going to give each of my kids a Love Fever Day. That is a day where they can stay home from school and just hang out with me. Companies give “mental health” days and, as a mom and stepmom, I think it’s important to recognize the Love Fever each of our kids has–the need for one on one time. I want to give them that once a year.
Is that such a bad thing?
It’s also important for us adults to catch the Love Fever. My husband says he feels a Love Fever coming on this weekend and is planning on taking Monday off so we can go hiking and canoeing alone. (Please no calls from the school nurse.) I’m never thankful when my kids get sick, but I am grateful this time for the Love Fever. I learn a lot from my children and my seven year old’s creative expression has been a blessed reminder to my heart.
Now every time I see the school nurse’s number pop up on my caller ID, I’ll smile … remembering the Love Fever and the invaluable lesson it taught me.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/HeatherWebBio.jpg
[author_info]About the Author
Heather is the Prime Parents’ Club regular parenting and stepparenting contributor. She keeps busy as the Founder of CafeSmom, an online resource for stepmothers, where her passion is to inform, encourage, support and connect stepmoms. She is a married mom of six–four biological children and two stepchildren. Read more of her here on Prime Parents Club, or on CafeSmom. [/author_info]