So this week, Erik (our son spending a semester at University of Rostock, in Germany) has been sick. Could be the European version of the crud here but sounds like a sinus infection, to which he is prone. When I wrote this originally, it had been a few days since we’d ‘skyped’ but his girlfriend, a funny, smart, adorable girl attending a small eastern college, is my Facebook friend and she keeps me posted.
Now I have a ‘partner’ in worry, and it’s comforting. Sure, I have my husband, and he worries too. But in a quiet, sensible, non-gnashing-of-the-teeth sort of way.
Totally at odds, thank goodness, with my penchant for overreacting.
When Erik was seven weeks old, he refused to nurse on one side…howling and drowning out Star Trek: The Next Generation, the 2 a.m. feeding program of choice. (My over-the-top crush on Jean Luc Picard, as well as the time Mr. Rogers started to look real good to me, is the topic for another post. Or not at all.) With a screaming baby propped up in one arm, and “What to Expect the First Year” (the great follow-up to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”) in the other, I read up on possible reasons.
Ear infection caught my bleary eye.
Off I trudged the next day with infant in tow to the pediatrician’s. The doctor was not an unkind man, having ‘signed off’ on the two of us staying an extra day in the hospital when the pipes froze in our apt. in Flagstaff, Arizona…coldest winter in recent years there. Later we’d tell Erik the story that there was ‘even snow on the cactuses’ that December.
The doc told me point blank that babies that young do not get ear infections but he’d humor me and look in the kid’s ear.
Much to the doctor’s surprise…a bright red ear infection met his eye.
We changed pediatrician’s.
The familiar tale follows of more ear infections, tubes, later allergy shots. Erik’s a fairly healthy kid, except for the recurring sinus and a rather stoic one…like his father.
Nevertheless, I worry. This son is an ocean away, battling a bug, taking classes in a language he’s fairly fluent in…but still.
But still I feel vaguely sick…homesick for having him home, knowing all the time, as I did the first time he went away for a protracted amount of time, that it’s just the harbinger of things to come…the natural order of things.
If we do our job right as parents, if we follow our intuition and care for our children, it’s their job to leave us.