The Man Cold

We are both sick. Mom and Dad are out for the count the same week we demolished the kitchen. The kids are in charge and, in a poetic way, the house resembles how we feel: chaotic and unwell.


You’d think being in the midst of a major renovation would make this the worst time to be sick, but it’s not. Usually, I feel tremendous guilt for staying in bed, for not cooking dinner, for not keeping up with the cleaning or laundry. Usually, I feel a bit jealous of my husband who seems to be able to take a sick day and really rest from his duties.

But this time it’s different. There is no guilt about dinner because I have no kitchen in which to cook dinner. There is no guilt about letting the kids watch a bunch of T.V. because half of the house is off limits. There is no guilt about cleaning when everything looks temporarily like this.

I found a few glorious days of guilt free rest tucked snugly into bed. It’s given me time to ponder the foolish things I’ve done in the past while sick.

I’ve spread germs further into the community by insisting on keeping every appointment while sick. I’ve taken longer to recover because I’ve failed to get the rest my body needs. I’ve fed a martyr-complex wrongly believing myself to be indispensable.

Perhaps the men have had it right all along? Perhaps men know something that us women have yet to understand: the world does not stop spinning because we take a sick day. Perhaps the man-cold (so commonly mocked by us ladies) is really wisdom in action?

Our house hasn’t been in this much chaos since we knocked down all the interior walls one Easter weekend. The kids have enjoyed more electronic entertainment than usual but it’s not going to kill them. Friends have brought meals and Sobey’s ready made dinners have filled in the gaps. The contractor has kept the renovation on schedule and I haven’t cleaned anything in seven days. Yup, seven days.

And you know what? It’s okay. I’m going back to bed.


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