Sickness in the house. How do we cope?

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, January 31 2017

My daughter was home with a fever last Friday morning and from the sounds of it, flu is ravaging the island. I have friends trying remedies that involve hot and cold socks, and island tinctures, and it seems everyone has a cough, a cold, a runny nose (in my case) and some kind of aches and pains.

It is the last week of January, when we still have two months of winter ahead of us, and even though the light is coming back by minutes and seconds, we are still a ways away from daffodils in the garden. 

For ailments in our house we are doing a lot of the same things. Tylenol and Advil for fever and flu, lots of bed rest and restricting activities outside of school. But my son, unaffected to this point, rode his bike to the ferry for the first time this morning and planned to ride up the ferry hill after the field trip to a “Find Your Fit” career fair. I can’t believe we are here. Thinking of career fairs. He is eleven. I am excited for him and sad for me as he is slowly joining the grown-up world and, by increments, leaving the cocoon that is our family. 

Over the weekend the children built a fort out of blankets and chairs to sleep under in my daughter’s room. We’ve been watching Netflix documentaries about Crossfit (the fittest people on earth) and Olympic swimmers. Even if we can’t get out there, we can watch others and be inspired.

Sickness means hearty meals, making a turkey stew from the leftovers frozen after Christmas, and of course, adding a few tortilla chips, avocado, and spicy cheese to the mix. These are the days of my family playing Monopoly around the table after dinner and no one crying when they go bankrupt. I am reading more on Sunday afternoons, trying to stay off my electronics and instead picking up some books.

I like January. She is hopeful and the bringer of light. I like doing a little weeding in the garden now the soil has thawed, and finding my snowdrops pushing up their little heads. The garden is starting all over again. The witch hazel is in bloom, and there is still so much to come. The red camellia we planted at the front door, in memory of our dear departed black lab Dixie, has buds that are almost open and for a short time she will be with us again.