6.2.18 Sofa nest
You have to learn how to be sick well. I never did as a child and it took me a long time to learn. My boy is properly unwell this week for the first time in ages and alongside the instinctive clench of worry that comes when your children burn hot and pale and crumple in on themselves like limp playing cards, I am trying to remember that here is a chance to teach him things that will last him his whole life.
I want him to learn that getting sick isn't a punishment and that he won't be punished for being so, and so we have ushered in good rest and comforts, and laughed and talked about what makes us feel better - how good it is that we can help each other to do those things. I want him to learn that he is not harder to love when he is inconvenient and used all the words I know to show him that it's ok, this is not a bad time: we just have to do different things for a while. It probably won't be for long and how lucky is that?
I want him to learn too though that life doesn't stop when illness moves in, and so we have also allowed room for boring mundanity. My work has continued to its usual hours and he has had to come up with his own entertainment and still help out and, yes, you absolutely still have to brush your teeth and do your homework, kiddo, even if you do them more slowly. We've talked about what we need to do to take care of ourselves. About what happens in our bodies when we get sick because god that's amazing, isn't it, and what we can do to help them. We've talked about what he can do and I can do - what we need from each other - and how it all goes best when we get the balance of that right. We've talked about what it feels like to be unwell, where we feel it, and tried to find the best descriptions to match up to our bodies, but we've also talked about lots of other things because to talk about illness all the time gets boring.
Mostly though, we have let our soft bodies rest against each other as often as we can, remembering that we are animals and need nests and food and sleep and each other. We have filled our days with stories too because they are often the best and most reliable human medicine and sick days should always be full of them, especially ones with wizards in.
I tucked him into bed early tonight and his face was sad on the pillow and that was ok. "I'm so sorry it's been a hard day, mummy," he said, and I said I was sorry too because sometimes that's true and it's important not to lie about these things. He was already falling asleep before I could say all the other words I wanted to, so I will put my grateful heart here on this page instead.
How good it is to love like this.
Oh how glad I am that I get to.