Sick Day Memories
Roy’s back-to-back bouts of illness got me thinking about when I was a sick kid. The drug store was in our small-town mall, just downstairs from the doctor’s office. While we waited for my prescription to be filled, I’d hang out in my beloved magazine aisle. This was one of those rare times that Mom would buy me an issue or two, so I’d make my selections carefully. Tiger Beat usually made the cut, especially if it featured Rob Lowe. Oh, sweet Rob. Is he literally the only teen heartthrob who’s successfully transitioned to adult heartthrob?
Back at home, I’d change into my most comfortable pjs and head straight for the flowered couch with the velvety gold piping. I’d burrow under the orange, white and brown zig-zag knit blanket, head resting on my bed pillow—a simple little piece of nighttime comfort that somehow held extra magic in this totally new environment. It was covered in the coolest Red Riding Hood pillowcase, fresh and ready for the occasion, featuring the wolf on one side and Red herself on the other. I’d occasionally rotate the pillow so each could have some time face-up.
The TV was on, though these were the days before cable and remote controls. Mom or Dad would turn on the most promising channel, and that’s where it would stay. I’d spend the early afternoon hours leafing through Tiger Beat and dozing to soap operas filled with argumentative and impeccably dressed women with really big hair. I loved how they’d slip off one giant clip-on earring before answering the phone.
While I remember being miserable, I also remember feeling cared for and safe. Things were going to be better. Until then, my parents would check on me, give me spoonfuls of pink medicine and glasses of normally forbidden soda on ice, and smooth the blanket, finding all the right places to tuck it in. As Roy grows older and we deal with the inevitable bouts of illness to come, I hope I can work the same type of parental magic and find just the right touches to take the edge off, transforming bad experiences into comforting memories.
Do you remember what made your sick days better? Any reliable tricks you pull out for your kids?Add a Comment