Under the Weather

150 150 Kristin
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Dear Frances,

Do you remember when you sent your firstborn off to pre-school and all of a sudden they brought home a never-ending stream of colds and flu? And then when you added more kids to the mix, every time one of them brought a bug home, it proceeded to make its way through the whole family, just in time for it to start all over again with the next bug. Good times!

And of course, as the mom, there are no such things as sick days. We still had to get up, make breakfast, pack lunches, and do carpool duty. It was hard! I guess that’s one of the sweet sides of the empty nest life. First of all, with fewer people living here, the chance of us even getting a bug is so low. And when one hits, it’s very different these days.

Of course, our kids are still our weak link when it comes to getting sick. As you know, after three and a half years of avoiding Covid, Ben brought it home from an amusement park. At first, buoyed with the knowledge that we’d make it this far without succumbing, we just kept Ben isolated and treated him like royalty. All food and drink was presented on a tray in a “neutral” bedroom. I have to say that he was a very undemanding patient.

I made some good progress on my cross stitch project while under the weather

Gary was next and all of a sudden, upstairs (including the shower!) was off-limits to me as we kept up the pretense that I could get through this without getting sick. A couple days later, it got me, and all of a sudden Gary and Ben once again had free reign of the house and I took to sleeping all day.

And that’s where it’s different! I could really take the time to rest. I spent basically a full week laying on the sofa. I read four novels and discovered two new seasons of Grantchester! Everyone else could make their own meals and mostly we just kept to ourselves and recuperated. We ordered dinner in a couple times and even had our groceries delivered (this was a first!).

There is a lot I miss about having young kids in the house, but this isn’t one of them!


Dear Kristin,

Way back in the day, before I had kids, I was pretty cocky. I never get sick, I’d tell people, and the fact was, I rarely did. But yes, the minute Jack started preschool, that was it. Every cold and flu that came down the pike came into our house. The irony was, the boys recovered in a few days, while it would take me a week and sometimes more to shake off the bug.

Like a lot of people, I didn’t catch a single cold from March 2020 until the following fall. It was sheer bliss! In every other way 2020 was a wretched year, but in that one respect it was stellar.

And like you, Covid came into the house via one of our kids. Jack brought it home from work last fall. Clifton was the next to succumb, and finally I went under. By the time I tested positive, Jack was doing much better, which left me to … languish. Now, as it turns out, I love languishing. I spent two weeks reading, journaling and finally watching “Succession” (which I ended up loving, though it took me four or five episodes to get past the fact that I didn’t like any of the characters except maybe for Gerri). I napped for long, guilt-free sessions. Because a friend had told me that it took her three weeks to fully recover, I accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to feel 100% for a good stretch of time, which helped me from getting too bummed out.

While it was no fun to have Covid, I was very aware that I was lucky not to have little kids when it hit me. I remember well the one or two times back in the day when Clifton and I were both sick at the same time (were the boys sick, too? I don’t remember now)–sick as in throwing up sick; sick as in barely coherent sick. We didn’t have family around to help, so we just traded off childcare duties and did our best. The boys got tons of TV time and pizza, so they were happy. Me, I wanted my mommy.

It occurred to me recently that I don’t think I’ve been sick since I had Covid last fall. I’d have to go back through my daybooks to see if that’s true. I haven’t had a cold, I know that. So maybe we’ve finally come full circle. A girl can dream, anyway!

I’m sorry that the Covid bug finally bit you and yours! At this point, I sort of assumed you’d never get it. I certainly hope you never get it again. Here’s to a speedy recovery (and accepting that it probably won’t be–sigh)!


  • Vicki Holloway

    I certainly don’t get sick as often as when the kids were in school. I would be sick from Sept to May often. I thought that was the worst back then. I see children in my job but I brought Covid home when my boss exposed me during my annual job review. I hope that never happens again because it was the worst. However , I was able to spend lots of time in bed and just rest. I wish that when the kids were little grocery delivery, amazon and virtual appts existed because life would have been so much easier. Speedy recovery Kristin!!

  • Colleen

    Wait till you have grandkids! I seem to catch a cold every time I see them! It doesn’t help that I volunteer to take care of them when they can’t go to daycare because they are sick. But hey! Just one of those Grandma joys.

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