The Christmas When Everyone Got Sick
I remember having been sick with colds or flu more than once during my elementary school years. And I remember also feeling miserable around the holidays due to unbridled overeating and natural tendency to run to fat, anyway. This year, I got to revisit these early experiences, with, however, some significant improvements. This year, my wife, son, and I drove to her family’s home in a distant, Midwestern state to our north, where we spent about a week with her parents, her sister (with husband and young child), and her brother (with wife and three children). Pretty much everyone in the house was sick (or had just recently been sick) with a cold or flu symptoms the entire time we were there. Heck, just about 20 minutes before we were scheduled to leave our Stepford home for our drive north on the Saturday before Christmas, my son while playing in the backyard with a neighbor’s granddaughter, tripped over a tree root and struck the tree’s trunk with his right forehead. The ER doctor said he was neurologically intact and the X-rays indicated no damage to the boy’s noggin, but we had a long drive and arrived late at our hotel. At the farm, my wife had a cold, my son had a cold and cough predating the blow to the head and ran a fever every day we were there. I didn’t run a fever, but had a miserable cough and cold.
The other thing that tripped me out about Christmas is that I got almost every extravagant thing on my Christmas list and felt deeply ashamed for having asked for and received so many gifts. Although physically and mentally I felt like crap, as described above, I was struck by the sure knowledge that I am no longer nine years-old, and when there’s something I need or want/need, I can buy it. That’s what I did with the new car I got and the GPS unit I bought, as well. Next year, I don’t think I will ask for anything, or not nearly as much.