Before I had kids I was rarely ill.
No colds. No flu. No ear-nose-throat infections. My immune system was Teflon-coated, permeated only occasionally by self-induced day-after-the-night-before-type maladies.
Despite all of the joy, love and laughter they’ve brought to my life (frustration and despondency too, but I’m trying to keep this post light), why is it that during the fall and winter months, I can only think of them as vectors of disease?
Right from the very first day my oldest child entered pre-school, colds and flu bugs have been regular visitors in my house.
The cycle is endless and invariable.
Child gets sick.
Child stays home from school (unlike the child they acquired the sickness from…).
Mom stays home from work (unlike the mom of the child they acquired the sickness from..).
Mom gets sick (unlike the mom of the child that sent her sick child to school) and stays home from work some more, but still needs to take care of the rest of the household so never really gets the rest she needs.
Child finally gets better and goes back to school.
Child number two gets sick…..repeat, repeat, repeat.
And just when you think there couldn’t possibly be any germs left that your family hasn’t been exposed to (you can’t get the same cold twice, right?), one of your children graduates and moves on to yet another school, with a larger pool of novel vectors of disease. Colds and flus and ear-nose-throat infections that their immune systems have never experienced before and that yours is soon to become intimately familiar with.
Imagine a world without colds and flu.
When pigs fly, or when moms stop sending sick kids to school.
Given that flight has independently evolved in several groups of animals, I’m betting on the pigs.