Marking another first for me, the mom who could be a grandmother by now, I smoothed down the drama and trauma of missing my youngest daughter’s recent visit to the family doctor. I couldn’t get away from work easily; why not take advantage of “the sister with wheels”?
Sending big sister in my place, guilt flashed through my soul as I envisioned Dr. Skinner’s friendly, practical manner falling on the deaf ears of my teens. It’s OK, I thought; they’ll do fine. Why should I expect a problem?
I called the clinic to ask if this was acceptable. The answer: “Sure, just write a note stating she has your permission to bring her sister to the doctor.”
As I jotted down the brief permission statement, the dispensability of part of my maternal role seemed to fall around my shoulders. Maybe I was confused, and this cloak of guilt was just hovering, ready for me to throw it off. Full of uncertainty, I watched them drive away, noting that my youngest daughter looked as grown up as her chauffeur sister.
“I might as well not have been there,” Jo reassured me, later, as Kathie handed over a prescription form for me to get filled. Not reassuring words. I considered that this could have been said most of the times in recent years that I sat attentively with my kids in an examination room during doctor’s office visits. The doctors and nurses could have just as easily spoken to the girls while I waited out front to sign forms and make co-payments.
Facing this small moment of truth, I tossed the guilt cloak as far away as I could and tried to appreciate the new freedoms that suggested themselves. Many “official” situations could now be handled without my assistance. Josie’s occasional request for me to “get a life” truly hit home.
After work that day, I bought the prescribed expectorant I hoped would relieve Kathie’s nagging cough, part of just a bad cold. Recalling the frequent times I’ve announced to my girls that “money doesn’t grow on trees”, I now rejoiced in knowing they still needed me to pay for everything. Funny how tables turn.
I ran across some great tips on avoiding colds. We did our part; Kathie missed four days of school. I’m hoping we won’t pass her cold around our house. In my new life, I may not be able to find my hat that says “Nursemaid” and without it I can’t deliver any medicines on a tray to the bedside.
How To Avoid a Cold
1. Wash your hands before eating and as often as possible.
2. Drink eight glasses of water a day.
3. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night.
4. Manage stress, as it can weaken the immune system.
5. Boost your immune system; take a multivitamin daily and eat vitamin C-enriched foods (oranges, tomatoes, broccoli).
6. Exercise regularly.
7. Avoid contact with people who are sick (don’t share drinking and eating utensils).
8. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, an easy way to spread germs.
9. If you can, stay home when you are sick.
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