Hope’s been home from school all week so far. We’re walking the tightrope on whether to send her back to 2nd grade tomorrow or not. We’ll see in the morning, but we’re leaning toward giving her another day to rest and recoup. Lest we send her back at less than full strength and she picks up some other fun and exciting sickness for next week. It’s been one sickness after another after another for her the past year. Mono, pnemonia, strep (several times), stomach flu, influenza A, influenza B… Throw in a few asthma attacks too, just for fun. Why the sicko? It’s a darn good question.
Part of it is, well, Hope just gets sick. (We’re working with our doc to be sure that’s it.) But part of it is this never ending cycle of passing these infections from one kid to another. Our daycare has been fighting a very rough bout with a whole list of infections this winter (thanks for cracking down), and Hope’s class is a few short nearly every day. So, kids pass stuff around. I get that. AND, we’re all doing too little to stop this.
As working parents, a sick child means a day away from the job. Once in a while, that can be a nice break. But on such a regular basis, that’s tough for any of us. And it doesn’t matter. If our kids are sick–even if we think they might be getting kind of sick–let’s keep them home. They’re so much more important than that meeting you’ll miss or the test she’ll miss. I think most every parent agrees with that ‘more important’ part, but too often we’re not really living it.
We did it just this past weekend. Saturday night Hope wasn’t feeling well at all. A low fever, coughing, stuffy, sleepy…Then, Sunday morning and early afernoon she seemed perfect. Spunky, even. So, Jaim and I left the girls with Super Auntie and went paint shopping (yes, paint shopping on my birthday). All seemed well–until Sunday night. Same drill, amped up a few notches. Because of Hope’s athsma (and an over-worried Mommy), we usually are running to urgent care 5 minutes after we realize Hope is starting to get sick. That means we get the diagnosis early. (This time, it’s Influenza B.) But, we exposed family members to it by sending her with Jenna. Not on purpose, but because we hoped she was fine. C’mon. A fever the night before should have been a sure sign of worse to come. We live. We preach. We learn. We are humbled.
My sick kid + your healthy kid = two sick kids. So, let’s keep them home for another day. Please.