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Feeling fine? Not so much.

When I was a kid, I would always tell my parents I felt fine, just fine. I remember once laying on a pier at my Godmother’s house feeling incredibly ill, but wanting to be there swimming in the lake so badly, that I pretended to feel alright when I clearly did not. It’s part of my personality to never want to miss out on a good time. They said they never understood why I wouldn’t just admit to being sick if I was sick – but admitting to being sick would mean you were also comfortable with relegating yourself to your bed, having no contact with the outside world, inciting undo worry for your parents and having to do nothing but lay there until you felt better. To a kid, that was the worst way to spend a day, so no wonder that even if I had a really bad case of strep throat or tonsillitis, my pat answer was always “I feel fine.”

So I guess I shouldn’t have been entirely surprised when, yesterday, following a full day of hustle and bustle in Fort Wayne, a place we rarely go anymore, when I asked a rosy cheeked Mahri if she felt ok, she enthusiastically responded that she was just fine. About two seconds later, she got sick all over the place and so began that painful 24-hour period in a parent’s life when you find yourself staring at the child for any sign they might be about to throw up. Any change in posture, any grimace, any movement at all is an alert – “Honey, are you going to be sick? Do we need to get to the bathroom? Do you feel ok? Are you sure? Are you sure?”

The rosy cheeks, for her, are a pretty obvious outward indication that things are not fine, regardless of what she said. She had a temperature and though she didn’t get sick again last night, I was just sure at any minute she would….so I hovered. A lot. All night.

She was offered the standard “mom’s line of sick kid care” which includes 7-up, crackers, lots of towels, some sort of emesis basin nearby, a bath and an insistence on rest.

By the end of the evening, both of my kids were getting very annoyed with the constant worry and concern. Both – because you know if one’s got something, the other will have it soon enough. We went ahead and made them both “sick beds” just in case.

Awaking this morning, it was very clear that whatever she had has probably gone. The cheeks are a normal shade of pink and the perky, effervescent personality has reappeared – complete with summersaults, bickering with her brother, singing, dancing – the regular day in, day out “Mahri Show.”

The Mom Alert is still in effect though and I’ll be watching Jamee closely for any indication he’s got it because, given the options of going swimming or staying home doing nothing – he’s going to be where the fun is, even if how he’s feeling is no fun at all. I know…been there, done that.


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