It is no fun when you are old

Being sick when you are a kid comes with all kinds of perks. For one, if it’s during the school year, you get to miss school and watch tv all day instead. Your mother brings you comforting food and says comforting things. You are not responsible for any chores. Your siblings are jealous.

But this all goes away if you are an adult who is sick. You call in sick to work if you can but you worry the whole time about the work not getting done. Or worse, about your rival picking up all your projects and doing them better. No one brings you comfort food like mom made. In our family, it was a bowl of pastina with a small pat of butter and a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. No matter how hard I try when making it, it’s just not the same. There is no school to get out of and no siblings to rub it in their faces.

Maybe if you are living with a caring spouse, they try to take care of you. But it’s not the same. Daytime tv, it turns out, is not as much fun when you watch it all day because your eyes hurt too much to read. Missing work is not as much fun as missing school. Calling your siblings brings mutterings of how they hope you get better with no jealousy at all over your coddled status. And honestly, no one can say comforting things to you the way your mom could. You just knew you’d be better no matter how miserable you felt.

I miss being sick as a child. It was so much better than I ever imagined.