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Sick Day and Tony Hawk
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004, 10:10 a.m.

QUESTION: Can we stay home today too?

WHAT I LEARNED: Sick days can be good days.

Today, I am going to see my doctor and get some meds for this respiratory infection that is plaguing me. The good news is that although I did do work for half a day yesterday from home, I am taking the day off today to rest and recuperate. Everyone in the house is really sick (me), or is recuperating at some level from being sick (everybody else). Yesterday, I let both the kids stay home with me. They were all not feeling quit up to par and frankly, I think they just needed to get some extra rest, stay in for the day, and lie around in the living room watching DVDs. I was really grateful to my daughter who went out at lunchtime to pick up coffee AND carryout fried rice for us. I was also really amazed when she cooked dinner so that I didnít have to do it. My son made me tea and found the Advair inhaler for me. I didnít know he could make tea. All of this reminded me of how important it is to do what we consider little things for each other because they really do make a difference sometimes.

My son and I had time late last night to have a really great talk about appreciated life and how fast it goes, about how you need to make the most of it and spend time with your family, and how important it is not to waste those opportunities for being together that present themselves to us all the time. All of this rock solid wisdom was coming from my 14-year old. And all this serious thinking on life kicked in after he finished playing a new skateboard video game. It seems Tony Hawk Ė unwittingly, I am sure Ė made my kid think on the fleeting nature of life and our adventures and our relationships. I was blown away. I think it is finally hitting my son that he is not going to be in this house with us forever and that eventually things will change as his sister goes off to school and then he heads out too. Iíve tried to communicate this to my kids when they start that sibling quibbling thing that is a constant side effect of having 2 or more kids growing up in a house together but I never thought they actually heard me in between the running sibling battles.

So yesterday my body was sick but my spirit really soared. It makes a motherís heart a little warmer to hear her daughter say Ė you always take care of me when Iím sick, so Iím going to take care of you today. It makes a motherís mind rest a little easier when she knows her son understands that he has to make the most of his kid-hood and the days he has at home with his family. Maybe I am doing something right around here once in awhile. Thank God on that one.

And the next time the kids are arguing about who gets to sit on the sofa, or begin tossing bottle caps at each other while I am on the phone, or launch into a long boorish speech about what wrong their sib has done them this time Ė Iím going to remember the day I was sick and we all stayed home Ė and although their antics are still going to bug me, theyíre not going to bug me as much. I will have won a small incremental battle against stress in the modern world.

And Tony Hawk Ė if youíre out there somewhere on the skateboard of life and you can hear me - Thanks, dude.

Todayís Suburban Strategy: What I Learned from The Squirrel...

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