Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sick Days

Moe doesn't get sick very often (knock wood), and now that he isn't in school he is exposed to even fewer viruses. But last weekend, he caught something. It didn't seem serious. He had a low grade fever that I treated with one dose of ibuprofen then never returned. He didn't want to eat much, but was drinking water and wasn't dehydrated. He was tired and mellow, content just to hang out on the couch or in his room.

And it was kind of nice.

Please don't misunderstand. I wasn't happy that Moe wasn't feeling well. I felt terrible that he wasn't himself. I don't like it when my kids are sick, especially Moe, who doesn't have the words to tell me what hurts.

But I have to admit that life was easier. Moe didn't kick and scratch me when I changed his pull-up. He wasn't constantly climbing the walls (literally), or taking apart his room. I took my daughter out shopping and wasn't worried that Moe was giving my husband a difficult time. He went to bed easily and I had a few days where I wasn't on edge every waking moment. Ironically, I feared less for his safety when he was sick than I do when he is healthy.

I couldn't help but think, "is this what it is like in other families?" I try not to play the comparison game too often. And of course I know life can be hectic and difficult for all families. But in our family, there is no such thing as a relaxing afternoon at home. We are always on alert, always under stress just by being awake. And of course, Moe is too. He seems so restless in his own body, unsure how to occupy his time. He wants things he isn't able to express to me, or that I can't understand, and he gets frustrated.

But with Moe under the weather, it just wasn't like that. We snuggled. He was happy to have me scratch his back or hold his hand. Moe seemed to communicate better, very clearly expressing "yes" and "no" and making more word approximations. It is almost like his body and mind had slowed down enough to let him focus.

Moe is returning to his old self again. His hoarse voice is returning to full volume, and he was excited to go outside to play yesterday. Today he is back to his therapy schedule, and by the weekend I expect he'll be back to normal, running and climbing and keeping us all on our toes. I was glad for the break, but I'll be glad to have my healthy boy back too.

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Read more about Jen at her personal blog, Anybody Want A Peanut? You can also hear me read a previously unpublished piece at Listen To Your Mother, Sunday, May 12 in San Francisco.