Thanks, Luleen, for putting pen to paper in my absence, allowing me to spend my Thanksgiving holidays recovering from necessary surgical procedures.
Now, while I have always criticized the male gender for finding the most conspicuous, in the way, inconvenient place to sprawl out when under the weather, I know why they do it. If you hermit away in bed, you lie there . . . forgotten. Your water cup dries out like a white sheet in a stiff wind, your call for "food" evaporates unheard, and people feel free to party like it's 1999 right outside your door.
So, I eased myself onto the sofa and turned the tube to interior design, 24/7. It drove my entire family from the premises for hours at a time, but not before ensuring I had substantial provisions to sustain me in their absence.
Intermittently, the children garnered amusement at my expense, asking to see my incisions and squealing "Ooh, gross," telling me I talked like I had bubbles in my mouth, and saying to each other, within earshot, that I only looked dead.
I vaguely recall my husband and his dad sitting with me. My beloved sent the children off to bed and encouraged me to follow. I didn't plan to give up control of the television that easily. Besides, sound waves, emitted from the kids upstairs, bounced off my abdomen causing me psychological anguish and physical pain.
Staying put, I engaged in conversation with the interlopers. The men insist, however, that I didn't participate. They claim I snored. Too bad they didn't listen better, because I remember adding several relevant and stimulating ideas to the discourse.
Within days, my brood ran out of places to go and tried to stomach domicile dÈcor gurus alongside me on the sofa. Luckily, painkillers gave the illusion that no one sat on my feet. In fact, I found it hard to concentrate and fell asleep . . . again.
Those sneaky rascals saw an opening. When I groggily slipped back into consciousness, I found my station switched to a professional bowling tournament. But the miniature channel changers had grown bored (who wouldn't) and departed, leaving me without a remote or any ambulatory party to grant my every command. One even drank my water.
Permanently returning to the world, five days later, I gasped at the picture before me. A disheveled little girl reassured me that her hair wasn't wild, only curly. Someone had rolled sod inside of our front door and I believe it took root and spread to the stairs. Three camellia blossoms floated delicately in the regurg container sent home from the hospital. And the entire house looked as if a giant invisible hand had reached out of the clouds and stirred its contents.
My husband collapsed in exhaustion, saying he couldn't wash one more dish. He confessed to designing entire meals around food he could prepare and serve on paper towels. Best of all, after years of telling me to quit my busyness, he admitted that he understands why I never quit moving. "If you sit down to take a break," he sighed, "one of the kids finds you and sends out a homing signal to the others, detailing the exact location."
He fought back by assigning them household chores. Since then, I have had the unsavory experience of extracting greasy dishes from cabinets, sorting salad forks from dinner forks and teaspoons from table spoons, and lamenting clothes forever shrunk or outright lost.
And yet, I am humbled by their genuine desire to nurture me.