My baby was sick for the first time in her little life this weekend. She probably got it from me, since I was quite sick last week and still could not keep myself from cuddling her face off every time I saw her, but Abby again proved that she somehow managed to pick up nothing of my personality in the DNA Yankee Swap game of conception.
When I am sick, as my wife will attest, I am a pathetic, miserable, grumpy lay-about. I justify the deepest depths of laziness because I have the sniffles. I won’t dress myself, rise from the couch, or seek out food that isn’t prepared for and served to me. I demand twelve different kinds of lozenges, five different fruit purees, three different pops, and a stack of DVDs that must include The Dark Knight, The Princess Bride, and The Last Samurai.
God help you if you ask me to do anything that resembles a chore or an errand.
Knowing this, I fully expected that when Abby got sick for the first time it would be the coming of some horrific cataclysm; screaming, howling, whining, and three of four horsemen of the Apocalypse at least. I heard those sniffles setting in and I concluded that there would be no hope for a happy baby, especially imagining what it would be like to have trouble breathing when you can neither seek out nor understand explanation of why it is happening. I feared the first illness.
All through the night, my little girl snorted and snuffled, coughed, choked and sneezed. Erin and woke anxiously each time. But Abby didn’t.
She didn’t even sneeze herself awake once.
We woke up the next day exhausted, while the sick baby woke up fresh as a daisy. Well, fresh as a daisy that had its petals wadded full of snot. She smiled at us through red, watery eyes, and giggled out streamers of spit and mucous. She was a touch dopey, but otherwise happy as ever. She wasn’t upset about being sick!
For two days she muscled through her cold with a goofy grin on her face. Today you would never know she had been sick, except that I took out an entire garbage bag full of gummy Kleenexes to the curb.
A friend of mine once told me that sometimes our children fill in the parts of us that are missing. Abby is proving to be strong evidence of that.