Monday, September 28, 2009
In Sickness As In Health
Today is a rare day: Clare is missing school because she's sick. I believe in her four+ years of schooling, this is the second day she has ever missed being sick. I know I jinx myself, but I am going to go ahead and mention that neither of my kids has ever had a prescription, either. We are some healthy peeps.
Which means that it's been interesting to observe Clare in illness. She began to feel under the weather Friday evening, which unfortunately fell on Tim's watch because I was in Dallas having a lovely weekend with Cat. I got a brief update on Saturday morning telling me that she seemed to be okay. Of course, she went downhill that afternoon, and Tim being the sweetheart that he is opted to not let me know so that I would be sure to enjoy myself while away. Not that it was anything serious, or else I'm sure he would have called me. She's suffered from a fever, bit of a chesty cough, headache, and little appetite. In other words, swine flu.
Okay, we jest, though it naturally crossed both of our minds. You just never know, and from the reports from people I know who have actually encountered H1N1, it's not that big of a deal. Judging by the fact that she has been fever-free so far today, and generally perkier all around, I'm pretty sure it's a more run-of-the-mill bug.
Anyway, back to observing Clare. I think the way people behave while they're sick can speak volumes about their personality. For example, Tim is a royal pain when he's sick, but not because he's demanding and whiny. On the contrary, he totally shuts down and keeps to himself, because he doesn't want to be a burden and is frustrated with himself for getting ill. The problem is that I have no idea how to help him!
Clare, for her part, seems to maintain her curious, pleasing self. She most definitely has been more quiet, but despite tuning into several movies her brain is still full-throttle. When I walked in to see her last night after returning home from Dallas, she greeted me not with, "Hello" or, "Poor me" but rather with a detailed question about their first grade service project. And this was with a 103.6 degree fever.
This is kind of rambling, and I'm not really conveying what I intended, which is that I really appreciate the fact that it takes a lot to knock Clare off course. Like her father, she has been neither demanding nor whiny. But unlike him, rather than shutting down completely, she manages to find happy things to think about and discuss, such as how common the American Girls' last names are in the world or the interesting new places Quincy has found to nap.
While putting her to bed last night, she at one point lamented quietly that she doesn't like being sick. Lucky for all of us, it happens rarely. And lucky for Tim and I that even when it does happen, she's still our sweet girl.