FatherGoof has the flu. I like it more than I should because MamaGoof takes such good care of me – making me soup, bringing me tea, fluffing my pillow. I may never get better. I know I’m lucky, but I’m also not used to this. My mom didn’t do sick. She would always say, “I’m no Florence Nightingale.”
True enough, more like Florence Meaningale.
Schools wouldn’t let us attend with fevers. So, forced to keep up home, my mother would leave us home, with nothing but broadcast television and flat gingerale. (The healing powers of old episodes of Bewitched and My Three Sons have not been adequately explored in medical research – after a couple hours of that I couldn’t wait to get back to school and fail a couple of quizzes.)
I believe this kind of treatment would now, in these gentler and more civilized times, result in the children being placed in the productive custody of social services. The irony being that my mother was a social worker with social services. But, as a good Trotskyite, she no doubt felt nursing ill family members was a bourgeois affectation. Her children, with the many advantages of their class had no need for extra treatment, whereas her impoverished charges at work required her ministrations. Besides, it was a chance to do some fieldwork for the cause. (I’m sure exposure to the Marxist dialectic helped a lot of kids get better, I’d guess 10 minutes of Marx equals an episode of The Little Rascals in healing properties).
Besides, mom would tell me, all illness (clearly the product of poor proletariat working conditions) would be eliminated after the revolution came.
So being sick as a grown-up is better than it should be. But because it is the flu I am trying to stay away from my kids. I really miss them and my daughter is upset that she can’t hug me. That really makes me want to get better.