This post is my contribution to NSR for this week. NSR is a collaborative project by EMS bloggers across the country. Go check it out!

Future Cardiologist and She Who Rules (August 08 - Epijunky)


"Yes, FC, what's up?"

"Can you come to my school on Thursday? We're having Lunch With a Loved One!" FC is practically bouncing off the walls he's so excited.

My heart instantly aches.

"Baby, come sit down next to me." I'm sitting on the floor folding a load of clothes. I pat a space on the floor as I start to explain that I can't come on Thursday. I wish I could, I really do, but it's just not going to be possible this time. The excitement fades from his face and is replaced with disappointment.

It had been four months since I started at the Evil Green Empire. I had just started working a new schedule that gave me my nights and weekends off, but effectively kept me away from home during the day on weekdays.

It's been a difficult adjustment for FC and She Who Rules. We've been spoiled for the last several years. I've always had a job that's allowed me to be home during most days. I've been able to be chaperone, Lunch Mom, keeper of the Cheerios and fixer of the booboo's. I've spent countless mornings dancing to the Wiggles with She Who Rules and playing with Thomas The Tank Engine or searching for the missing Pokemon cards with FC.

Up until recently, that is. Now a babysitter rations out the cheerios and wipes away the tears. She's a great sitter, the kids love her. But she's not Mom.

"So, you understand, right FC? I'm sure that if your Dad can't go that Grandma or your Uncle would LOVE to come out and have lunch with you." I'm struggling to sound upbeat while I hand a pair of uniform pants up. My words hang in the air. FC's not talking. Apparently I wasn't the only one struggling.

"But I want you to come."

Oh, Baby, just twist that knife a little harder.

"FC, I wish I could."

How can I make you understand, FC? How do I tell you that I'm doing this job, I'm working these hours, for all of us? He knows I love my job. In the beginning he loved it too. Now he sees it solely as the reason I'm not home. He's come to resent it, and it breaks my heart. He doesn't yet understand that most parents have to work long hours during the day.


"FC, I'm sorry honey. I promise to make it up to you this weekend. You name it, we'll do it. Within reason."

"Mom, it's okay. You have to help people, right? They kind of need you?" He rests his head on my arm and plays with the watch I wear on my left wrist.

I look at my son and smile. "Yes, sweetheart, they kind of need me."

"Maybe next time you can come?"

I'll be there even if I have to take a sick day to do it.

"Do you think Uncle Responsible One will really come out and have lunch?" He looks up at me, his hazel eyes bright and smiling once again.

"I think he would LOVE to do that. He'll probably bring you a Happy Meal too!"

"Okay then. I guess that's okay. Do you think he'll bring me a milkshake?"

So you can bounce off the walls the rest of the afternoon at school? Your teacher will love that.

"Mom? Can you bring the ambulance to school like you did before?"

"You really want me to? I thought you didn't like my job anymore?" I push the empty laundry basket aside and pull FC into my lap.

"You have the coolest job ever, Mom. You get to help people. You get to drive around in an ambulance and play with the lights and that loud horn. You have all kinds of cool stuff in the back. You are good at your job. It kinda rocks! And besides, Jeremy's Mom doesn't even have a job!"

*blink* I have no idea what to say.

FC doesn't wait for me to conjur up a response. He starts bouncing around like he's already had the aforementioned milkshake. Supersized. "Please Mom? Please Please Please? And can I be the one to turn the siren on this time? Pleeeeease?"

"Absolutely, FC. I can't wait." I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed the breath out of him.

Sometimes the teacher becomes the student. He understands more than I give him credit for. I shouldn't be surprised, he is my son after all.


Ali said...

He is a very cool kid. :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful child you have!


Evil Lunch Lady said...

You are a cool mom who has a cool kid:)

Laura said...


what an awesome kiddo!!!