When They Care for You
I spent the better part of five days down for the count.
As my oldest daughter is found of telling me at times . . . I don’t get sick very often. The problem is when I do get sick I get really sick. Out of commission barely able to move around without getting winded sick.
I honestly didn’t think it was that bad, by the way. I went into work on Monday, after being out on Friday, and thought it was okay. I became quickly aware, however, that it was a mistake, particularly when I was having a hard time breathing.
This comes after a house full of kids spread whatever virus it was around like peanut butter.
I often say it – when you have kids your home is a petri dish. It started with one son, went to my middle daughter, then me, then my other son. I had told him in the middle of Monday to let me know how he was doing by calling me.
The problem was he called and I was sitting in an exam room at the doctor. I made the mistake of informing him that I was actually at the doctor, too. That got all three kids worried.
Their Mom, you see, had come down with a respiratory infection and that is what sent her to the hospital and ultimately did her in. It’s also why, when in years past I would have tried to tough this out for longer, I was sitting in the doctor’s office. I didn’t tell them that they were doing an EKG because they were worried it was more than an infection, that would have been bad enough.
When I got home they had put out blankets and pillows on the couch. They had taken a bowl of Skittles upstairs and were going to play videogames so that I could sleep downstairs. As long as it took. When I got up they were there, making sure I didn’t need anything. My daughter asked if I wanted tea. My son asked if I wanted to watch something on TV.
I have to be honest, after being the caretaker for so long, it was a bit annoying. I didn’t want to be pandered I wanted to sleep. I was never, ever, going to tell them that, though. I knew that it was simultaneously scary for them . . . and it was so sweet I couldn’t be angry.
I slept for a couple hours, let the antibiotics start to take effect, and they came downstairs and sat quietly. The quietest they have been in a long while.
I understand why they’re scared, it’s not just their Mom. It’s not just that I’m sick. I’m their Dad and they care. No less than when I’m worried about them.
Still…there’s worry and then there’s worry. After I got up from resting and some color had returned . . . they asked, almost in unison:
“So what’s for dinner, Dad?”