From the instant of their arrival to the moment they depart for college and beyond, kids get sick. For years, we fought a long and losing war against boogers, projectile vomiting, unexplained temperature spikes, ear infections, chicken pox and explosive, well, you get the idea. The pre-school years, so adorable in other ways, were a horror show in this regard.
When you’re a foot soldier in that war, it pays to know the territory, so I became, along with every other mother I know, an expert in the myriad viruses and bugs that were wreaking havoc in our children.
The other night, I went to a party solo. Sam stayed home. When our friends (many of whom still have kids at home) asked after him, I said, “He’s got a cold. I think he might be faking.”
Well, maybe not faking exactly. Exaggerating. Why the distrust? Well, for starters, the man never gets sick. I don’t even remember the last time he had a cold. And there was something else, something I couldn’t put my finger on, that led me to doubt his story.
“Oh, no,” our friends nodded sympathetically. “There’s a terrible one going around.”
What?!!?, I thought. There’s a cold going around and I DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT?
Disoriented, I literally wondered if I had been gone, travelling somewhere, when this particular bug arrived.
But of course I hadn’t gone anywhere; the chicks had.
I had doubted Sam because his illness made no sense to me. How could he have a cold when there was no one in the nest for him to catch it from?