22 August 2013

Warning: May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Our home is a house of sickness. Of plague. Enter at your own risk.

The interesting thing (one of many) about being a parent is how things seem endless. Having kids is weird. On one hand, time is flying by and your baby—who was just born—is suddenly entering kindergarten and getting ready to go off to college. But at the same time, bizarrely, many things seem to stretch on for so long you think they will never end.

I used to live in New York and I remember being in subway stations very late (or very early depending on your point of view) and waiting a very long time sometimes for a train to arrive. And there was a part of me that always thought, I’m going to be here forever. This train is literally never going to come. I am stuck here now. Forever.

That’s kind of what it’s like to be a parent.

Sleep, for instance. It’s easy to believe you will never again get a proper amount of sleep. Ever. That you will just continue along on your days, in an ongoing haze of sleepiness, never quite knowing if you’re awake or if you’re dreaming. It’s like Inception, only the really boring version without any ceiling acrobatics or snowbound hideouts.

And now illness. Pestilence, etc. For the last several weeks, at any given moment, at least one member of our collective has been down for the count with some form of fever or wheezing or sneezing or whatever the ailment du jour happens to be.

And it’s a vicious cycle, it just keeps going. The kids get well and the parents go down. Parents start to feel like they’re on the mend and the Doozer starts complaining of an earache. A stomachache. Little Brother has a coughing fit at 3 in the morning and then he’s wide awake and wants to play.

Stop it.

I’m coughing as I type this. Like I’m some Romantic poet dying of consumption as he composes these final lines. Hopefully they’re worth it. We’ll see.

Kids get sick. It’s a thing you hear about, something you just kind of know. But like so many other things, you can’t really comprehend it until you’re in it. I mean, they get sick. Like crazy. And then they make you sick. Because they’re so thoughtful. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. And the Doozer hasn’t even started kindergarten yet.

We’re screwed. We’re just going to be sick in some form for another decade. I’m going to have to start wearing one of those medical masks. Like Michael Jackson. We all thought he was crazy, but apparently he was on to something there.

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