This entire ordeal is testing my “brave mom” face. I can put on a “brave mom” face when my son falls and scrapes his knee, and even though he’s bleeding a bit and my mind is racing and I want to throw up, I smile and calmly tell him “it’ll be alright.” But this time, I tell him everything is fine, that there’s nothing to worry about, and I flash him a smile and make some kind of fart joke, and off he goes.
And then I have to turn away, just for a second, to fix my face. Because my “brave mom” face is tired. It’s worn out. It’s been overused these last exhausting two weeks.
But I’ve gotta keep it up.
If I let myself think about it for too long, Coronavirus terrifies me. I get nervous if my son has a low-grade fever… I can’t even think beyond that. I don’t watch the news anymore, not even the local news, because I don’t want to send myself into a tizzy, let alone scare my son. When I fall asleep at night, I force myself to think about anything possible just so the virus ordeal doesn’t haunt my before-bed thoughts. I wake up and enjoy those first few moments of groggy nothingness, and then I remember the current state of things, and that rock in the bottom of my stomach returns. I hop out of bed, and out comes my “brave mom” face.
Because that’s the only guaranteed way I can know, deep down, that I’m doing everything I can for my son in all this. My reassuring eyes or forced-yet-noticeable smile can help keep him calm and happy and content, and that’s my number-one concern.
I think of all the other moms and dads who are braving smiles and hiding worry about jobs and money, those who are single parents and/or are co-parenting, those who have children with compromised immune systems or lung problems that put them at a higher risk… and I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers every night.
Stay well, everyone. And keep putting on a brave mom face.
A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.