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Zuzu was sick this past week. It occurs so infrequently now that it always surprises me when it does happen. I still get that momentary heart racing when I see the daycare’s number on my caller ID and hear the description of how pale she looks. Fortunately, her little immune system is so strongly built-up from all of those early-on illnesses that she seems to be able to fight off most bugs with a single swoop! Her first year of life that most certainly was not the case. Poor lamb spent the months from May through October on one antibiotic after another and in between battling the side-effects that came along with the dosage. And I’m sorry to say that her mother was a worrywart/basketcase during a good bit of that period as well. In the last year, I have realized I rarely see her with a runny nose let alone a fever or stomach bug. Whew.
That said, daycare called this week while Lovey was out of town to say she had thrown up. Literally, 30 minutes before the call I had heard on the news that Norovirus outbreaks were four times as frequent in our state this season. I thought for sure we were in for a LONG weekend. And not the good kind. No though. We got lucky and as soon as I got her home, showered and tucked in to bed with a cup of water she turned into that cheery sort of sick that lets me know she actually feels pretty all right. All right enough for her chatter to detail instructions for me from what she calls “the sick kids book” as to the expected progression of how often she could have sips of water and bits of dry cereal. She let me know that would lead up to a plain lunch she could keep down and then moved on to contemplate which “sick animals and blankie” she would keep on the bed for comfort and which PBSkids shows could keep her company while she rested. I much prefer this bossy-cheery sort of sick to those early days where the mere thought of the responsibility of a sick baby overwhelmed me as much as her cries did.
There is something about childhood illness, even the banal ones, that makes you wish your own mother were there with you as your little ones reach out their sweaty hands to you for comfort. I think it is in those moments that it is clearest that the roles have been forever altered. You now are the comforter.
This time as she drifted off to sleep in the midday sun she smiled contentedly and suggested that I be sure to lay down too so Sugarplum could get a good nap while she napped in Momma-Daddy’s room and the Quail napped on at school and Daddy napped at his hotel. I happily complied under her guidance in how best to make her feel better. My heart now able to soar rather than race.
“There is something about childhood illness, even the banal ones, that makes you wish your own mother were there with you as your little ones reach out their sweaty hands to you for comfort. I think it is in those moments that it is clearest that the roles have been forever altered. You now are the comforter.”
This is just beautiful, Cole.
Glad this was a bossy-cheery sick day for your little one.