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?