Dealing with illness

What a week this has been. First ice and sleet last weekend, then temperatures nearing the 50s on Monday and Tuesday with dense fog. Then snow on Wednesday. But I guess it’s to be expected. After all, this is Iowa in winter like having four seasons all in one week.

Being sick when the weather is so cold and blustery is not fun. Everyone at my house, except me, seems to have fallen prey to a couple of nasty bugs. Larry suffered through a stomach virus and Daniel has been croupy all week. While Larry has since recovered and is feeling better, I can’t say the same for Daniel. We went to the doctor yesterday and discovered that he had a touch of pneumonia.

We thought he just had a cold, much like what a lot other people have recently experienced. A persistent fever suggested otherwise that and his nagging cough. After a night or two of sleepless nights, it was time for a trip to the doctor.

This week kind of felt like when my son was much smaller. I found myself checking on him during the night when I would hear him cough. I would crawl out of bed, quietly walk down the hallway to his room and poke my head in. I’d pull the blankets up around him and touch his forehead to see if he had a fever.

Of course, as all mothers know, your child is your child forever. No matter how old they are, you want to know that they are healthy, safe and happy.

I remember once when I was in college, the flu got the best of me. With the sniffling, coughing, chills and fever, I was miserable. My roommate was so scared of getting sick that she moved down the hall with friend for a short time. So there I sat, alone in my dorm room, shivering, coughing and feeling quite pathetic. Worst of all, it was the weekend, so everyone around me was heading home. I was too sick to do that. But Saturday afternoon, there was a knock on my door and there stood my mother with a large Thermos of her homemade vegetable soup, a carton of orange juice and a pair of fuzzy slippers. I was so glad to see her. But that’s what mothers do. They take care of their children.

Even though Daniel’s getting older and more independent, my maternal side still wants to mother him when he’s sick. I know that in the next few years as he reaches his teens (shudder) he won’t be too keen on having his mother hover. I know that in the near future I may become one of the most maddening, unreasonable people in his eyes. Of course, when he hits his 20s, I will once again become one of the smartest people on earth. Every parent experiences that dynamic.

Not that I ever want my son to be sick or hurting, but there is this tiny little part of me that longs for those opportunities to offer comfort and hope. I think that’s what all of us long for to be needed and appreciated by our children. It gives me a great appreciation for my own parents and how they have cared for me through the years.