Sick Day

Me: The Eternal Baby

For the past few days I’ve been recovering from an injury. Since I first left home for college several years ago, I’ve gotten sick numerous times, but each time it’s the same. All I can think is ‘I want my mommy’. I have a child of my own now. A child I pushed out of me without any pain medicine. I am tough. That’s what I tell myself anyway. But when I’m feeling under the weather all I want is to be babied. I want to turn back the hands of time to when I could get tucked in bed with a warm bowl of soup and a pack of Saltines and not have to worry about anything besides getting better. I could watch hours of mindless television with catnaps throughout the day. Except now I have responsibilities that require my attention no matter how I feel. During my recovery I’ve had to do all my normal tasks like laundry, cleaning the apartment, and most importantly taking care of Merle. My partner did the best he could to help me get the rest I needed, but I really just wanted my mom. Will I ever outgrow this? Is it normal to feel the need to be taken care of completely when I’m sick? Or is just some personality flaw?

As I examined my dependence on my mother’s sick care, I realized it was only in times of illness that I felt that dependence. I always fancy myself as being independent, but when faced with the opportunity to flee the comforts of home, I always choose not to leave. When looking at colleges, I was convinced I wanted to go to a school far away from home, but when push came to shove, I chose a school only 45 minutes away. When I was 5 months pregnant and needed a new place to live after my partner and I split, I moved back home in search of comforting. When I moved out again a couple of months after Merle was born, I found myself still requiring my mother’s attention, calling her every day for her support. My mother and I have not always had the easiest relationship, but oddly enough I’ve always felt some level of dependence on her. Even now when we’re considering where to raise the baby, I have fantasies of moving to a new city on the other side of the country or the other side of the world, but fear that my lack of independence will prevent me from making the much needed move. This may be a flaw within me, but it is a true testament to my mother for putting up with my need to be babied, despite having three younger children.  

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