Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tag! You're sick!

According to my son, he's been "sick since December which makes that 3,000 days!". Well, not exactly, but it sure feels like it. I remember thinking on Christmas day (through my snotty coughing cold exhausted fog) that it seemed like there was always someone sick in our household throughout the whole month of December. And, now we are in early February and the perpetual sick crud is still making the rounds here. I can't even go back in my mind and figure out who was sick when because it just all blends together. I do remember being sick yet again mid-January, then my kids had a snotty coughing thing (soooo much fun at night), then my man got sick right before his week-long training in Sacramento last week, then while he was gone Talia got the fever and barfing thing, and today Quinn woke up with a fever and general misery.

At least I know I'm not alone. It's a common consensus among the parenting crowd that once you have kids, especially kids in school, the being constantly sick thing is just how it goes, a rite of passage if you will. I think back to the days before kids when I got sick maybe once a year at the most. I used to think "geez, when was the last time I was sick? I just can't remember??" … ha ha hardy ha. I actually took "mental health days" to use up my sick time when I was burnt out or just needed to veg on the couch for a day. Now it's just the opposite – I totally appreciate when we are all healthy without a sniffle or a cough because it feels so rare.

Of course, I do feel blessed and grateful that my children are relatively healthy compared to some. A friend of ours has two kids with sickle-cell disease which means they often get critically sick (intensely painful), spend a lot of time in the hospital, and have a shorter life expectancy in their 40's. I can't even imagine how horrible that would be as a parent to see you child suffer like that. I feel helpless when my child is up coughing during most the night and all I can offer is water and a propped up pillow. Our friends can only dream about having a cold or flu as their worst sick day. We are incredibly lucky indeed.

So, as I type, I’m cooped up at home caring for my feeling very yucky son. And, because I’m an eternal optimist, I’m thinking about the good (grown up) things that go along with being sick like soup (chicken noodle or hot and sour), catching up on recorded shows, Lifetime movies (the cheesier and more dramatic the better), being forced to take care of only myself for a change, long guilt free showers (my bathtub is tiny or I would take baths), having friends/family offer to help (makes me feel loved), and the fabulous moment later when I realize that I’m finally not sick anymore, at least…for now…

**picture above is Quinn enjoying one of my favorite soups (Streit's Chicken Flavored Noodle Soup) that I made for Talia last week when it was her turn to be sick

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