Warning: If My Kid is Sick, I'm Calling in "Mom"

Family Matters on 08.22.12
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As a child, sick days were only granted to me if I had a fever or was actively vomiting. The art of Ferris Bueller was lost on me. According to my mother, "If you're too sick for school, you're too sick for after school activities." Missing play practice was out of the question, so me and my runny noses and tummy aches boarded that yellow bus come rain or shine.

As an adult in the workplace, that same set of ethics have served me well. I take my worst headaches with me into meetings. Decongestants have saved many an early morning commute. Unless I'm really sick, I show up.

I interrupt this boast to bring you the effects of parenthood.

When my little child looks up at me with feverish eyes and cheeks that are two shades too rosy, I ain't going anywhere.

There's a change in the air this week. We can all feel fall fast approaching.  With the first exciting days of school come exposure to every dormant germ in town. The sickies are coming.

Those germs don't care that my fall schedule is filling up. People are depending on me to be somewhere, to write something, to show up on time; those colds and coughs could care less. Don't worry, People That Are Depending On Me: My guilty conscience will keep me on my toes even if I get the croup. But let this serve as a disclaimer: When I wake up to a small sniffly nose by the side of my bed, and a forehead screaming "102.3," I'm gonna call in "Mom".

The truth is, there's something about spending the day feeding my toddler chicken soup and orange sherbet that is healing for me, too. In the midst of racing to catch the train and ensuring my foundation's blended, it's soothing to press pause once in a blue moon. Watching Lady & The Tramp next to my snuggly toddler makes me feel better even if I didn't feel bad to begin with. So, while I'm not wishing autumn sneezes on my children, I know they're inevitable.  My apologies to those who'll be upset when the impending ear infections take over my home. If you really need me, you can find me in a mom-made fort of pillows and blankets, watching a non-violent flick and eating chocolate chips by the handful. Otherwise, just grant me my "Mom" day, and I promise, I'll show up tomorrow.

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