there ought to be a rule...
Thinking to leave behind the Chicago spring-that-wasn't, my family and I headed down to visit family in sunny (hot and muggy) Tennessee. We survived the (interminable) drive down I-55 to fall joyfully into the loving arms of family. We had nothing to do for the entire week but swim, play, ride scooters, and eat good ol' Southern home cooking. What could be better?
Unfortunately, the shock of actual warm temperatures interspersed with deliciously chilling air conditioning doesn't seem to have agreed with our winter-conditioned blood. My husband and I both have colds to end all colds.
At least, I know that my cold is a cold to end all colds. I don't know what he is whining on about. He gets to spend his days in comfy chairs, away from sleep-deprived, vacation-minded kids, all in the name of studying. He seems to think that his cold tops my cold, just because he gets out of bed a little bit earlier than I do in the morning.
All this suffering has made me realize that there ought to be a rule. Only one parent can get sick at a time. Who else is going to feel sorry for you when you are sick, if not your spouse? If both parents are sick, no one is left to carry the burden of compassion and sympathy. If both parents are sick, who gets up with the crying kid in the night? If both parents are sick, who will take charge of the kids to allow for the long and luxurious nap that is so necessary for healing?
I remember well the first time this realization hit me. My firstborn was just a tiny baby and had just recovered from a horrible flu bug. She recovered, as my husband and I were both simultaneously brought down by it. We absolutely needed bread from the store. I thought my husband, usually the hero of the family, would be willing to do it. He was quite willing to let me shoulder the burden, "and while you're there, could you get me some Coke?" I remember shuffling through the store, letting the cart hold me vertical, thinking that nobody in the store knew how terribly sick I was. The lack of sympathy led to the one of the biggest pity parties I have ever thrown for myself. I had nobody to take care of me, nobody to feel sorry for me.Continued on the next page