Hearing you scuffle with your sheets, with some germ, with all that irritation finding you in night’s rest, it’s unsettling and stilling to pick you up and hold you in my arms and sit with the length of you, cradling, eyes closing, breath breathing, finally resting.
I was hoping that you would sleep, that you wouldn’t wake frustrated because of last night’s deprivation, that you would be your normal bubbly self, the self that yaps and taps til I roll over, awake and not, ready to comb your hair, finalize your clothes, locate your socks, say no when asked to play.
And it was you, wavering over me with all that light piercing the curtains, persisting to reintroduce yourself as the playful one, telling me to do this or that, and waiting until I moved to act.
It was you and you had slept well.
Ask your mother. I never got sick. I don’t believe in sick. It doesn’t look good on me.
It leaves little skin chips across my reddened nose, has me running around with a roll of toilet paper because I refuse to buy tissues when I have all those rolls in the cabinet.
Sickness takes my appetite and my ability to smell and taste food. Which makes me very mad since I bought those fruits and vegetables that require care and digestion by someone who eats them with great appreciation.
Sickness makes the world a lot slower since things match the motion of my fuzzy, clogged head. It makes me beg my pardon in conversations, makes me too tired to sleep, and less helpful which I personally detest. It makes my voice sound funny, and in my work voice is important.
So, mark the record, Bryce. Let it show that every single time that you have been sick thus far—with the exception of that battle with acid reflux when you first moved in—that I have changed my routine. Now, I do get sick and usually half way into your body’s fight. It’s the new clock by which I set my immunity’s collapse. May the phrase, “You make me sick,” be evidence, more proof, that I love you.
I thought I was the child who grew up willing to eat anything. I wasn’t. That was just a way my loved ones talked about my large appetite. The other day I read an article that brought that to mind and that also made me wonder whether I should have taken my son’s eating of our boots and shoes and remote controls seriously.
That’s a little facetious on my part. Consider it an amusing way to introduce a serious topic. Have you heard of Pica? It’s a rare condition—named for a bird that will eat anything. The condition causes children to eat things that aren’t food. “Doctors say these unusual cravings can be triggered by a lack of certain nutrients like iron or zinc. Some with Pica crave the texture of some materials in their mouths.” It’s rare and I’m sure it’s more world-shaping than the regular adjustments which come along with parenting.
The article also says that adults are not immune by the way.
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