Needing a Sick Day … or Two

Today I discovered a new talent. I have the ability to play Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots while writing an article about “Dating with MS” in my head. It’s similar to my other talent of answering work emails while listening to my daughter perform the new song she wrote, and then singing along verbatim by the third performance and the 10th email. My son is home sick from Kindergarten for the second day this week. And as twisted as this sounds, I kind of like it.

Yes, he’s calling for me every 10 minutes with a new “hurting part” on his body. Yes, he’s looking up at me with those pitiful eyes, too weak to hit the channel button on the remote. And yes, most likely he’s contagious, and I’ll be nursing my own fever and pawing at the remote by the weekend.

But on the up side …

He doesn’t have an appetite, so I get a reprieve from round-the-clock snack requests. He’s low on energy, so the noise decibel in the house is down a notch. He’s too weak to argue. And the illness is bringing out his affectionate side. No, I’m not getting any real work done, but I have a good excuse …

My boy needs me.

He needs me more than my editor at the moment. Or the pile of laundry sitting in the corner on the bedroom floor (that I’ve already washed twice now after the cat, with the recent urinary tract infection, peed on it). Or the dentist’s receptionist who seems a little too invested in whether or not my teeth get cleaned this year.

I don’t like that he’s achy and shivering, and missed his big field trip at school yesterday. I don’t like the symptoms-of-Ebola checklist that keeps running through my head. But I like that all he wants is for me to hold him, and closes his eyes when I smooth back his hair. I like snuggling up to his warm body and tucking the covers up tighter under his chin. And the not caring whether or not I get what he’s got.

It appears I have the magic touch, and this is right where I’m supposed to be.

I think he can feel it, too, especially as the fever lifted and he started to come out of the bad-breath, two-days-in-the-same-pajamas coma. I gave him an orange, and he asked if he could just suck out the juice, not actually bite it. Yes, I said. Two sucks later, we settled on some sugary dried oranges and a piece of leftover Halloween candy that, miraculously, he was able to chew. And yet another round of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em.

Still, he feels only “a little” better. And is not sure if he’ll be able to make it to school tomorrow.

Oh, he’ll be back at school, and I’ll be cleaning up the sickness aftermath and probably working straight through the weekend to meet my deadlines. But when I think about it, these last two days that started in a slight panic have turned out to be pretty special.

I think all the downtime has brought out his contemplative side, too. Lying in bed after watching Curious George spy on The Man With the Yellow Hat for the 4th time in two days, he said, Mom, I feel like I have lots of words in my head.

Yea bud, me, too.