That is the very worst pun sin I have ever publicly committed.
So we've moved on (please, please let that be accurate) from head lice to maybe Swine Flu. Maybe equals You must wear a mask when your siblings are in the house. It also equals two bottles of lavender hand sanitizer.
If the bugs that gave Lex that 104 degree fever were, in fact, of the H1N1 type, then they were mostly talk or maybe just lazy. He was sick enough to scare me for 24 hours, then well enough to spend the next day on the couch, chugging Gatorade and watching contraband TV.
I did take him to the doctor. I thought he had an ear infection, but the doc started talking about 'viruses' and then 'influenza' and then, If it's influenza, it's likely H1N1. But, the kids I've seen with it have had mild symptoms. If he gets worse, we can screen him, but otherwise, just watch him at home and don't worry about him unless he seems to be not improving.
Tonight he felt alright enough to get online and email his teachers and let them know he'd be back in class tomorrow, unless his fever returns. He doesn't want to miss any more classes than he already has, because he's in lots of accelerated programs and missing classes makes things even more difficult.
Turns out, at least with this kid in this case, benign neglect from mama toward homework starting in about the fourth grade produces a seventh-grader who takes charge of his work because he knows it's his responsibility. Funny how what I think of as one of my greatest accomplishments as a parent (having an almost 13 year old who takes care of his schoolwork totally independently) sprouted from the hands-off approach. I'm planning to use this method whenever possible, because now that I've gone from an at-home, super-involved, attachment parenting devotee to a Ms. Works-a-lot single-mom who isn't entirely sure what the kids' classroom numbers even are yet this year, the whole 'hands-off' method is shiny and appealing in all sorts of ways.
Not to worry, though. I still tickle and kiss them, feed them healthy meals and milkshakes, tell them funny stories, and make sure they floss. I haven't yet forgotten to pick any of them up from soccer practice, which is pretty good considering they are all four playing this fall on different teams that practice in four different places and play games in four more different places.
Being a mother for me is so different now, so very different, now that the kids are getting older. I always thought I'd be sad when they weren't babies anymore, but I'm surprised by how much fun we have between the squabbles and the eyerolls. It still takes me by surprise to look up into the eyes of my son who looks so much like me. Sometimes I see so clearly his little baby face looking back at me, and it's impossible to imagine that it's been years since I could hold him in the crook of my left arm while I stood in the kitchen getting a glass of water and looking out the window at the sky.