Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Super Moms

A kid threw up next to me at Starbucks the other day. I posted a question on Facebook soon after: "What are the odds that I will get sick?" One of my friends, also a nurse and mom commented, "A nurse and mom? You are immune to bodily fluids". I hoped she was right. Do moms possess special immunity, a superhuman immunity? By most definitions, possessing a superhuman quality would deem one a superhero. Do we have special powers giving us superhero status?

The reason I was at Starbucks was to meet with a woman taking over a committee project I had organized. She, also a mom and multi-tasker, had to bring along her daughter in a stroller. About a minute into me explaining the details of the project, her daughter leaned over the tray of her stroller and puked. This was followed by a second eruption down the front of her shirt. The mom swooped in with napkins catching what she could, and with a second swoop she had the tray and most of the little girl's shirt cleaned off. There almost wasn't enough time for me to gag before it was gone - almost. This struck me as an example of the lightning quick speed that moms may share with superheroes. She was wearing an "S" somewhere under her sweater that day.

Of course, not all moms need to be nurses to handle bodily fluids with ease. We've all found bathrooms or receptacles that would make do for our child who is crying, or should I say screaming "I have to pee!" after only giving us 30 seconds notice. And, we have all had the encounter with the diaper explosion. Diaper disasters not only require quick reaction time, but also quick thinking. I once had to dress my 5 month old in just a diaper and my husband's fleece jacket for a 2 hour plane ride home because his clothes were destroyed by a malfunctioning diaper. Similar to superheroes in a jam, we figure it out and fast. We are problem solvers. There's no time to whine about the problem or lack of solutions. We make the best available solution work.

And, not unlike superheroes, moms also sacrifice themselves for the greater good. My friend from Manhattan brought her 2 year old son to visit us for the day last summer. After driving 2 hours alone with her little boy, he got out of the car, walked into my house and threw up on the floor. And this wasn't just car-sickness. My friend sprung into action. She scooped him up and got him to the bathroom and then proceeded to clean up the entire mess before I was even back from containing our dog in another room. After mopping my floor for a second time, she cleaned up her son, loaded him back into the car, and drove him another 2 hours back home. This was not the trip she had planned. We always put our children first, even if that means doing something we don't really want to. Although my Manhattan friend probably wished she had brought her super speedy invisible jet, she definitely brought her cape with her that day.

So, yes, maybe there is some truth to my Facebook friend's comment. I didn't end up getting sick, although snot seems to be more of my Kryptonite. Perhaps, I do have a special immunity and furthermore, special powers. I think moms are the forgotten superhero. We should be honorary members of the Justice League. We may not actually have flashy uniforms or gimmicks, but we do possess amazing powers, get the job done, and often save the day. Happy Mothers Day!

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