That Helpless Feeling

My Favorite Domer (AKA College Guy) called the other night to tell me he’s been sick with some kind of upper respiratory bug.

The kind that makes your nose run. And your eyes water. And your throat tickle.

The kind that makes you want to crawl into bed and sleep, not pore over textbooks, take notes, and study for tests.

This might be one of the hardest things to endure as a parent — a kid who’s sick and miles away from home.

No, it’s not a major catastrophe (thank heaven!).

Yes, many of his friends are also sick. The changing weather — hot and windy one day, cold and rainy the next — certainly plays a part. And it doesn’t help that he’s had too many nights without sufficient sleep of late.

I know these “bugs” have to run their course, generally a week to 10 days.

But the mom in me wants to feed him chicken noodle soup and Jello. Why? Because my mom fed that to me, and it seemed to help.

I want to strip the sheets off his bed and put on fresh ones. To tuck him in with some Vicks VapoRub and a humidifior belching warm steam.

I want to draw the blinds and close his door, letting him sleep until he feels better.

I want to set aside his homework and books and projects. Just for a little while.

Just until his brain isn’t so foggy and he’s able to concentrate again.

But I can’t. I’m too far away, and he’s too grown up for mom to hit the highway and hover over him.

So I fight that helpless feeling, knowing there’s an Infirmary on campus if he starts feeling really awful.

And I pray for healing. And I count the days until he’s well and back to being himself.

What tricks have you found that make sick kids feel better?

Time to Count my Blessings

I came back from Christmas vacation with the same cold I had last November — ugh!

So, instead of belaboring my runny nose, stuffy sinuses, coughing, and general misery, I’ve decided to put on my “Little Mary Sunshine” persona and count some of my blessings. Here goes:

1) My Job. I can do Web Design whether I’m sniffling or not. I can schedule client meetings for when I feel less contagious, take care of the drudgery (filing, etc.) that has piled up, and teach myself new tricks — all from the comfort of my sickbed.

2) The Internet. Who says a sick person can’t shop?? Not me!

3) My Novel. Since I’m up to my ears in revisions, I’m not having to come up with new scenes (for the most part), connect the dots between plot lines, make sure my timeline is reasonable, etc. Plus, being sick gives me an “excuse” for foggy-thinking.

4) Beading. Working with many-colored, many-shaped beads is relaxing and offers another creative outlet. And I get to wear or sell some of the stuff I make!

5) My Sheltie. Dogs love you unconditionally. I’m sure they notice when you’ve always got a Kleenex at your nose, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I think what matters to them is the lackluster look in your eyes when they bring you a ball to toss!

6) NoteTabs. This cool product by Avery lets you write, mark, and highlight, right on the tabs! They’re more substantial than “sticky notes,” and they come in more than two dozen styles and colors.

7) January Thaw. Today, it was above 40 degrees!

8) My Family & Friends. They bolster me up, make me laugh, and turn my world into a warmer, cozier place. Thanks, everybody!

9) My Bed. Pity the poor people in Haiti who are suffering through the aftermath of an earthquake. Everything looks like it’s in ruins; kind of reminds me of what the Gulf Coast looked like after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

10) Faith. God never gives us more than He and we can bear. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.”