When Sick was Cool

As a kid, getting sick was something to rejoice. You could stay home from school and watch TV all day. Being sick also meant that you were probably free from school work. Additionally, in my house, my mother would wait on me hand and foot and bring me whatever I wanted to eat—as long as I didn’t have a stomach virus. Years later, other than the aforementioned vomiting, I can’t see a downside for a kid.

Case in point: My son has been home sick the last couple of days. He lives for the movie Cars. Granted, he’s sick, however, he’s sitting home on the couch watching Cars all day long. He’s only three but he’s no fool. Like his Dad, he’s trying to milk it as long as possible (or until he knows every stinkin’ line in Cars). Like my Mom, my wife is falling for it hook, line and sinker.

I wish I could call out sick and watch sports all day. However, unlike my son, my wife does not want me around during the day—unless I’m doing chores. In fact, I can’t even get sick anymore unless I want to hear about it for the next month or two, or even five years from now. She has a journal and writes down everything, so who knows.

A couple of months ago, I was sick with a sinus infection for almost 3 weeks. At one point, I made the mistake of saying that I was going to call out sick from work.

“I never get a sick day—ever!” my wife responded.

As I was feeling miserable, what I wanted to say was “sounds like a personal problem.” But then realized if I uttered those words I would then have the personal problem.

She continued to vent.

“All I do is cook and clean and take care of these kids. I never get a break. If I called out sick, who would take care of these kids? Tell me…”

I wanted to say “Grandma?” but again I thought better of it and said nothing.

She vented a little while longer but I don’t remember anything after that. There must have been a good show on TV. Regardless, I understood the point she was making. Without her, the household doesn’t run. However, the fact that neither of us can get sick and afforded a day of rest is ridiculous. If she gets sick, I can handle things for a day or two. Dinner might be horrible but at least the kids would eat (and live, hopefully).

The next time she gets sick, I’m going to insist that she stays in bed and rests. I’m ready for the challenge. Besides, Grandma’s on speed dial.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo


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