Being sick is miserable, so I try to pamper my kids to whatever extent helps them feel better. I can’t make them well again, but I can at least provide some comfort while nature takes its course. I tuck warm blankets around them, offer a cool washcloth when it might help, make chicken soup, and read extra stories.
When my older kids were small, a tiny voice asking, “Mommy, will you hold me?” led to me climbing into bed beside a sick child and letting a little body snuggle close.
Not now. Before RA, I sometimes had sick kids in need of care. Now I have walking germ distribution centers. Responding to, “Mommy, will you hold me?” with “Only if you promise not to cough on me,” just doesn’t come across as tender and compassionate.
- wash your hands
- cover your mouth when you cough
- keep your germs to yourself
- go wash your hands again
- where’s the lysol?
Is it worth cuddling up in the rocking chair to make a kid feel better for ten minutes, but face higher risk of catching whatever ails them? Or is there more to it than that? Maybe it’s lifelong memories of Mommy loving them enough to hold them. Before, I’d figure that I’d probably catch whatever bug the kids were passing around, anyway, so getting their germs while holding them wouldn’t be the end of the world. Now, I take into consideration what my meds do to my immune system and send people to wash their hands and face, sometimes even change to a clean shirt, before they can climb into my lap to be held. I’ve stopped just short of making my sick kids wear a mask.
I do NOT want to get sick. Somehow I missed “lack of compassion” in the listing of medication side effects.
I hate this.