Does she get up at 5:30 to run every day, keep her house tidy, drive various kids to their various activities, and always have a home-cooked dinner waiting for Superdad when he gets home from thwarting evil-doers? Does she keep the house running like clockwork with chore charts and schedules and happy-face stickers?
Does Supermom ever have a runny nose or groan at the current state of the household toilets? Can a Supermom have big feet or gray hair? Does she ever lose her patience?
I thought about Supermom a lot as I was lying on the couch this weekend.
Normally, I’d rather pluck out my eyelashes than passively watch the kids play video games. But in this instance, I was sick—so sick I couldn’t even follow the weak plot. Who was Mario trying to save? And why did he keep turning into Bowser, when they were mortal enemies?
I drifted in and out of my catatonic state, feeling very much like I’d been run over by a truck.
Where was Supermom? Last week, she was here, running with the stars and cooking pot roasts. And now, she was lethargic, on the couch, and letting the kids zombify their brains via Nintendo.
I did no laundry, accomplished no chores, laughed at the thought of washing windows, failed to tick a single box on my ‘to-do’ list. All I managed to do was sleep and self-medicate.
I drifted off as Mario was trying not to get impaled on a spiked floor. When I woke up, two stuffed animals were cuddling next to me.
Out of their tender, loving hearts, two different children had each left something for my comfort.
It occurred to me that maybe being a Supermom has nothing to do with my valiant actions, but everything to do with my day-to-day, humdrum interactions.
I hate being sick. But because of it, I witnessed such an outpouring of affection from my kids, it was almost worth it. Katie made me pudding; Noah drew a picture; William gave me concerned, sympathetic hugs; and Libby scampered about with her doctor kit, periodically taking my temperature (after I sterilized the thermometer, recalling it had been in multiple armpits).
So, where was Supermom this weekend?
She wasn’t scrubbing floors or organizing closets or even playing in the sunshine with the kids.
She was lying on the couch, being loved.