Monday, October 12, 2009
I am not a neurotic mother. I was never the "oh you can't touch my baby" type. Never over-coddled and worried beyond what I should have. Even his pediatrician was shocked I was a "new" mother in his infancy by my calmness and candor in all things kid related. I mean really, he was a baby. A human, not made of porcelain or china. I knew he wasn't as fragile as some overly OCD mothers made their precious little one's out to be. Maybe I was a bit apathetic, or maybe I was a realist, who knew.
IN any event, I find myself now with the threat of this Swine Flu petrified in silence of my child getting sick.
He's coming down with a little cold. Could be allergies even really, but I find myself reverting to that neurosis that I despise. Over antiseptically cleansing everything in my grasp, hand-sanitizing to my hearts content and making sure he washes his hands like he was a stand in for Jack Nicholson in that Helen Hunt movie, "As Good As It Gets"
I see it on the news every morning, every night. Another death somewhere in the US from the H1N1 virus. The Flu-gone-wild as it were. This crazy strain that started last spring that they thought was a fluke, now running rampant and having us all fearing for our children.
The elderly are safe, why? Their generation survived a similar virus in their day they believe and they have the antibodies to survive this. A virus that rivals one from 50 years ago and we have nothing we can do about it except tweak our existing flu vaccine and hope for the best.
Yeah, that's encouraging.
I had my son on public transportation with me yesterday and found myself gauging the crowd. Was anyone coughing, sniffling sneezing? Did anyone look nauseated? Of course, half of them were drunk from the various ball games that took place in Boston (and the losing ones to boot...but I digress) How has this become something that has become so worrisome to me?
I would die without my son. For the past 5 years, being a mom is all I know how to be. I don't even necessarily know if I'm any good at it really since I rule my child's life with sarcasm and humor, much like everything else, but its who I am now. How can I not be petrified watching news stories every day of people all over the country, every day people who's kids get sick and then just die who are the same age as my own?
And what about me? People my own age with "underlying" conditions are just wasting away, leaving their families with nothing. I can't chance that with my son. I can't let him be left alone, I am all he has. Sure he has my mom, and my brother. And somewhat an extended family, but I am IT. I would come back from the freaking dead and haunt the crap out of anyone who did my child wrong I can promise you that.
So as my son sniffles in the other room, I am hoping its only a cold, only allergies at most. I will be ridiculous over the next few months with Lysol, with antibacterial hand soap. I will hand sanitize at inopportune moments, and I will throw my hands in front of someone else sneezing near my kid if I must. I will be the antithesis of all that annoys me of those overly neurotic mothers. Those coddlers.
I don't want the Swine Flu in my house. Oink that.