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My Mom Is Never Sick

I tried to imagine what my husband and two teens saw in a 36-hour window of my illness awhile back. Since my high school freshman is the most freaked out about germs, I figured he would be the most likely to take notice.
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"I'm sick," I announced to my family.

It was as if I said, "It's Tuesday." Yawn.

I tried to imagine what my husband and two teens saw in a 36-hour window of my illness awhile back. Since my high school freshman is the most freaked out about germs, I figured he would be the most likely to take notice. (In eighth grade, he rolled down the car window when I sneezed, allowing any rogue germs to escape into the atmosphere.)

My Mom is NEVER Sick.
As imagined by a mother of a 14-year-old.

My mom is never sick. She's always there for me; that's how I know. During finals week, she picked me up from school just fine. I didn't notice any sniffles or the tissues stacking up on the console. After driving my friend and me to fast-food tacos, she took me to my dentist appointment to get my teeth cleaned. I think she mentioned how tired she was and practically fell asleep in the waiting room. She took a nap when we got home.

At 5 p.m., my older brother made scrambled eggs like chef Gordon Ramsey, all creamy and puffy, and took them into my mom's bedroom to taste; she was still napping. He didn't care if he woke her up. He just wanted her to love the eggs; she did. I could hear the conversation since my room is next to my mom's. Besides the eggs, they said something about a separate fork and napping for two hours. Is she sick or my brother? She worries about anyone getting sick and is always telling us to wash our hands. (I have hand sanitizer dangling from my backpack like a keychain.)

Next thing I know my mom is banging around in the kitchen. How can I study with all that noise? I think she was doing the dishes and making dinner, like she always does. She ran back and forth to the grill outside to cook our flank steak just right. She kept her pink parka on the whole time, even indoors. She knows how much we like our steak grilled, never broiled. She doesn't care if it's January. She wants us to be happy. Right after dinner, she said she was going to bed. It was 7:45. She was sounding kind of stuffy, but I thought she chopped onions or something.

The next morning, Mom sat with me while I ate my breakfast. She does that so she knows my ride to school came for me. My toast sure had a lot of almond butter on it; my brother made it. He thought Mom was making him useful while she made sandwiches for lunch. She might have been protecting us from germs if she was sick, but that never happens from what I can tell. I kept scooping blobs of excess almondy goo off the toast on to my plate.

As I ate, Mom told me how her alarm went off for a very long time this morning. She was in such a deep sleep she thought it was Dad's alarm. Once she figured it out, she felt around for her phone with her eyes shut tight.

"Wow. I bet Dad didn't appreciate that," I told her.

"Ha. No I'm sure he didn't." Mom said it like she hoped he really, really didn't appreciate it.

When I got home from school, Mom told me she slept ALL day. Maybe Dad noticed she went back to bed before he drove off to work. Since she got up to make our breakfast and lunch he probably thought everything was just fine. If Mom felt bad, he would have canceled his customer dinner meeting so she wouldn't have to cook dinner.

Mom ran me to the doctor's office to get my Meningitis vaccine. We HAD to go, she said, because my schedule is so packed, finals week was the only time to squeeze it in since I had half days. When we got home, she stayed in her room the whole afternoon, just like the day before. She must be reading a really good book is all I could figure. I was looking for a snack when she came into the kitchen at 5 p.m..

"Mom, we need better snacks. Hey, what's for dinner?" I asked.

"Chicken soup." She said.

"Oh. I really want that pork and noodle dish." I told her politely. She would say I whined.

"Well, I want chicken soup. I was really hoping by some miracle someone would have done the breakfast dishes." She said it in that voice like she was chopping onions again, all stuffy and sleepy.

"Well, I have to study for finals," I said. I grabbed the bag of tortilla chips and my bowl of salsa and got the heck out of that kitchen.

Next thing I know, Mom says, "The soup is ready and all the makings for paninis are out on the counter; make your own." Then she disappeared.

I needed to finish a section of studying so I came out later. My mom was nowhere to be found. I ate by myself in front of the TV. Where did she go? Did she eat? I left the panini press on in case she hadn't eaten.

At 9 o'clock, my older brother came home from rugby. He found my mom reading in bed and started talking to her about practice. (That's where she went! I better unplug the panini press.) My brother thought she sounded sick. She asked him if he wouldn't mind putting the soup away when he was finished. We didn't see her again until morning. Our breakfast was waiting for us. Mom said she had a hard time waking up again. Dad was sound asleep. Again.

I tell ya, my mom is the healthiest person ever. She is always there for us.

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