Author Archives: Erika

How I sick

How I sick

We’re all getting over being sick.  And by “all” I mean Andrew and myself, although both kids have been cranky and coughing for the past few weeks, so maybe them too.

It’s hard to tell with them.  If they don’t have fevers, I watch their behaviors.  Words are no help – Isaac doesn’t have the skills to say how he’s doing, and Kai has so many words but not quite enough experience to pick the right one.  “My throat hurts,” he’ll say which sounds promising, but then he follows with, “which is why I have EXTRA energy today!” and then it’s all meaningless.

A first, with this bout of illness.  I was laying on the couch, eyes closed, trying to cat nap while Sponge Bob blared on the TV, Kai talked loudly to his new imaginary friend, San Fawango, and Isaac stimmed while pacing in an oval in front of the couch.  Isaac bent over my face, and said, “Mommy’s sick.” He was just repeating what I’d been telling him all day, and I expected him to then ask for sausage or Cheerios or anything as long as I got up and started acting like Mommy again…but instead he leaned in close, and kissed my forehead.  Then he went back to his oval.

This means my autistic tween has officially been the nicest to me when I’m sick than anyone in my household.

Okay, this is not entirely fair to Andrew.  The problem is that Andrew and I “sick” differently.  Andrew keeps going until he truly cannot without passing out, and then he holes up in our room, in the dark, and sleeps until he is well enough to keep going again.  He does not want tea, or soup, or sympathy.  He wants to keep going, and then sleep in a dark hole, and then keep going some more.

I want to rest.  I want to put my feet up with tea and a book or TV.  If I have to be sick, I at least want to enjoy “not working”.  I want people when they walk by to say “how are you doing, sweetheart?” and me to say “a little better” or “the same” and then they should offer to bring me tea or soup.  I want to keep my days and my nights separate – awake but resting during the day, sleeping at night for my usual sleeping time.

I’m not saying my way is better.  It’s just what I want to do when I”m sick.

The problem is, Kai certainly and Andrew subconsciously feel that if I am awake during the day, then I am well enough to keep going.  In order to get the rest I need, I feel like I have to hole up in our room, in the dark, alone, and I don’t want to do that…but if I”m on the couch, awake, I’m signaling to half my family that I’m available.  I should be capable of emptying the dishwasher, or making snacks.

But my Isaac.  He gets it.  Mommy’s sick = kiss on forehead, and leave alone.  At least I have one on my side.

Morning Routine Moment

Morning Routine Moment


I currently start each day the same way.

Alarm #1 goes off.  I turn it off and get back in bed.  I lie on my back and put my hand over my heart and acknowledge that I am already stressed.  My heart rate is already elevated, cortisol is already coursing through my bloodstream, the weight of the world is coming down on me and before I have even begun I have already failed.

Then I pray.  It goes something like this, “Hi, God, it’s me again.  Good morning.  I don’t have the strength to do all the work you have given me to do. Wait, is it all from you? Or did I take on some without realizing it? Whatever, this? This isn’t gonna happen on my strength alone. But I can do anything through your strength, so let’s take some deep breaths together and remind my body I’m not alone in this, okay? A-men.”

Then I breathe. I listen to the birds outside. Sometimes to Isaac in his room waiting for his clock to turn yellow.  Sometimes Andrew stirs and puts an arm over me. Sometimes I stay awake and sometimes I drift back into sleep.

But when the second alarm (#2) goes off 15 minutes later, my hand is still over my heart, I am breathing calmly, and I feel I can face this new day.

Know thyself, am I right?



Kai is desparate for me to have another baby.  “A baby of my OWN.” he clarifies, when I tell him about this-or-that thing this-or-that baby cousin just did.  New baby cousins don’t cut it.  He wants a Hagan Baby, from my belly.

It’s an interesting thing to reflect upon on this day, the day of my first nephews birth.  Having Baby Owen appear and seeing all the photos and stories from across the pond (we did get a lovely bonding time last Christmas, when he fell asleep in my arms and his father offered to take him back from me and I just smiled and said “nope!” and kept walking and rocking and loving) having Owen join the family opened up this new possibility I’d never experienced – getting some Baby time without having to go through the shenanigans of having a darn Baby.

I just got back from a trip to see Baby Charlie, and oh!, what a dear baby he is.  I got to see smiles, and hear his first laugh, and I also rocked him to sleep in my arms and held on for hours (seriously, it’s just bliss.  I have a problem.) and since there are only 4 states in between us and not an ocean, I’m hoping for more Baby Charlie in my near future.

But Kai.  Kai has not met Baby Charlie.  Kai was unimpressed by Baby Owen’s doing nothing but nursing and sleeping.  Kai wants…                                     maxresdefault

I don’t know what Kai really wants.  A sibling other than Isaac?  Someone to be older than?  “A girl,” he insists when I ask, “we need a girl on Team Hagan.”

He’s started asking questions about gender and babies and where they are grown and how they are made, and we’ve gotten to the egg and the sperm and all the specific genital parts, but not quite to how it all wham bam thank you ma’ams.  I’m really pleased he’s totally comfy asking me everything, and pretty pleased with how I’m responding.  Honestly, accurately, only answering what he asks.  Andrew walked in on Kai and I looking over a picture I”d just drawn of men vs. women’s nethers, and he went “oh!” and slowly backed away.  But Kai and I are doing good, I think.

“You’re my baby,” I said last time he asked for me to please, please, please have another baby, and he responded, “but I”m in first grade, Mom.  It’s not the same.”  And he is, of course, right.  That precious bliss of a baby falling asleep in my arms, that’s not where we are any more.  But this place of discovery and questions and teaching and laughter and learning the word “testicle” and commenting that is sounds like a popsicle brand – that’s pretty fun too.