It is Sunday night. My son has just returned home from his grandfather’s house. The moment I laid eyes on him earlier this afternoon I saw his red ears and the flushed face. I didn’t need a crystal ball to know that it was going to be a long night. It is absolutely no surprise that I was woken from a beautiful sleep at 12:15 am by a poor child who cannot understand why we are tearing him from his cozy cocoon of sweat soaked sheets, blankets and PJ’s to strip his bed and wipe him down for fear that the outrageously high fever will just take over his poor little 40 pound body.
Now, at 12:42, I am fully aware that my night has just begun. As is my ritual, I am fraught with worry that his temperature is really indicative of a much bigger, terrible disease that has been since left undetected. Logic will not prevail until the morning since all of my silly fears are quite nocturnal, and they die the moment the sun rises – just like the vampires and the Blair Witch that scare me equally. From the months of November until May this type of cyclical illness is quite common in our home with a school aged five-year old. Yet the sickness of my “baby” is something I have not yet grown accustomed to.
I am certain that it is experiences like this that sets me apart from my fellow classmates. While it would be a very safe guess that they are also up at this very hour and will predictably be up well into the night just as I will, it is for entirely different reasons.