My friend texted me in the middle of the night – she was in the hospital with gallstones. This was a Saturday morning and they were going to keep her until at least Monday. Any normal human being would have thought, "The poor thing!" and left it at that. But my next thought was, "Ooh. Lucky."
Admittedly, I've never had gallstones. They sound super painful, and no one loves pain. But I have a toddler, and my friend has several. So the idea of a quiet weekend anywhere — even a hospital — sounded like magic.
Assuming you can eat with gallstones. (I have literally no idea.) This means she may actually eat an entire meal, instead of a few bites of ravioli, grapes, and carrot sticks left on a child’s plate, while simultaneously trying to keep said child from climbing up a bookshelf.
No having to prepare ravioli-grape-carrot stick combos for three entire days.
They're generally about things like gallstones, but still. They're not about how one of the trains in the "Thomas" movie fell into the sea, or why you're not allowed to hit your brother just because he's playing with the Batman that you wanted to play with, even though there are – no exaggeration – 17 other Batmans.
And then there's such a thing as "visiting hours are over."
No one will wake her up at 4:30 in the morning because “I just got hungry for lunch” or “I thought I saw a heffalump.”
She won't even have to change her clothes, and no one will judge her for it.
If anything is more comfortable than sweat pants and a tee shirt, it's a hospital gown: no waistband.
It's hard to explain how much a parent yearns for sympathy and admiration in everyday life. No one ever really says, "I don't know how you do it!" except on the cover of Cosmo. The residual glow of three days of sympathy could last months. Or at least until the next time she’s peeling a toddler off the top of a bookshelf.
And yet, after waking up to my friend’s middle-of-the-night text, I peeked at my sleeping three-year-old and realized something: I’d miss this kid pretty desperately. So I made us some breakfast and mentally prepared for another day of chaos and joy.