Thursday, November 4, 2010

On Headcolds

As a mother, I have the right to say this:

My children are currently disgusting.  They're in the throes of headcolds, or as Reese aptly put it, they're noses are leaking.  They're not feverish.  They're not sick enough to be pancaked flat on couches or take extra-long naps.  They're not achy.  They're just drippy, and they're kind of cranky about it.

This morning Kerrington sneezed on me while eating her rice cereal.  Brooke walked past and wiped her nose on my shirt sleeve.  Reese, the one who is old enough to use a Kleenex by herself, blew her nose and then set the used Kleenex on the table.  The table!  The kitchen table!  The kitchen table where we eat!

I'm trying not to think about this.

When everyone around me is sick, I don't know whether to fight with all my might -- excessively washing my hands, bathing in Lysol, chugging orange juice -- or simply to live normally and sensibly, trusting that my immune system, which has faced over 10 years of teaching and 5 years of having kids, is strong enough to avoid a simple head cold. 

It's like the difference between slowly wading into frigid water -- that torturous process that delays the inevitable -- or simply diving in and instantly immersing yourself in the coldness.  Whether I tiptoe around their germs or just embrace the kids as I normally would (snot and all), I'm going to be exposed.  Might as well dive in.

But that Kleenex on the table?  That is where I absolutely draw the line.

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