My father always used to tell me something:
“Kids are smarter than anyone gives them credit for.”
He’s so right, too.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that every parent thinks their kid is the smartest, most amazing kid on the planet. I’m sure I’m not different, but this is not about IQ, it’s the fact that kids are far more aware of things than most parents think. My kids are no different.
I talked a little about being sick and the worry I saw in my kids’ faces. That’s not a surprise. But my kids worry more when they hear that I’ve gotten pneumonia and the bug attacked me so quickly I was bedridden in less than a couple days. That’s what their Mom caught and she didn’t come home again from the hospital, so I looked at my sons who were constantly hugging and talking to me as the days whittled by.
But when I went back to work, both because I was sick of being cooped up in the house for six straight days and also because I needed to work. Throughout the day I started getting text messages from my daughter:
“how are you doing?”
“fine. But run down, but I’ll stick it out.”
“Come home if you don’t feel good. I don’t want you getting sicker!”
When I got home Abbi told me how worried she was about me.
It was then that I realized that sometimes you have to put on a brave face and look stronger than you are. I realize now that my parents must have done the same.
It’s a difficult thing to portray to your kids that you’re still immortal. Mine saw through that facade nearly two years ago after they lost their Mom. Now, no amount of pleading and swearing at them will convince them that I’m well enough to work until I’m actually well enough to work. So when sitting on the couch resting, my kids come to me and hug . . . and I tickle them, without chasing them around the room. I stay up and watch an extra episode of Homeland (which we just started watching) on VOD with my oldest, just so I look like I normally do . . . up late and working hard.
Then 6am rolls around and the amount of coffee I need to survive the day should go into an IV just to keep me upright.
But it’s worth it. I’m getting better each day, 5 days of antibiotics left, and I can breathe a little better.
And each breath I take helps the kids breathe a little easier . . . so it’s totally worth it.