Sara Beth Times

Sick days

Our almost four-year-old caught a nasty cold last weekend, so I took the day off work on Monday to stay home and snuggle.
There was a time when my husband or I were home almost every week with him as he battled chronic ear infections.
I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s been over four months since the last time he was sick. We made it through the entire summer without an ear infection. It feels like a victory for the whole family.
I thank my lucky stars that my son’s illnesses were never all that serious. But regardless of the condition, when you have a child who is chronically ill life becomes an endurance sport.
I worked like a mad woman on the days he was healthy, at home and at the office, trying to get everything done before the next bout of illness struck.
I got accustomed to saying ‘no’ (which is not a bad thing) as we just couldn’t fit anything extra into our lives.
I never thought I’d say this, but on Monday as I sat on the couch with my little boy resting by my side, I realized that I’d kind of missed that time together.
Last spring, after so many months spent in that position, it was difficult to appreciate that there would come a time when he’d no longer want or need me in that way.
Our little guy wasn’t all that sick this time. We spent much of Monday morning racing monster trucks down the sidewalk in the warm sunshine.
But he had a nasty cough and a stuffy nose and a small fever when the ibuprofen wore off. So I kept him home one extra day.
We’d play for a while, and then he’d get tired and we’d wrap up in a blanket and watch PBS Kids.
On Tuesday morning I was anticipating a spike in fever, a draining ear. But he woke up a happy, healthy 98.6 degrees.
The only indication he’d been sick was a slight residual cough and a sniffle.
All day I waited for the call from the daycare to let me know his fever was back. It never came.
Somewhere near the end of my workday I realized I was a little disappointed. I’d kind of hoped I’d have an excuse to stay home with him again.
My husband texted from his out-of-town job assignment saying he could take the Wednesday shift so I could get some work done.
I texted back and said I didn’t think that wouldn’t be necessary.
I may have detected a hint of disappointment in the “OK” he sent me in return.
We are so grateful our son is healthy. I hope deeply and sincerely that he stays this way.
But now that we’ve had a chance to catch our breath, I can honestly say that those long months snuggled on the couch, as tedious as they were at the time, are now treasured memories of time well spent.

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