“How do you keep Helen so healthy? She’s never sick!” The mother of three young children was lamenting having to take one of them home with a fever–again–after it made the rounds in her household for the third time this winter. She knows that my fifth-grader is seldom sick now, and she assumes it was ever thus.
When Helen started at EC3 ten years ago, in Toddlerland, she came down with practically every illness in the book: goopy eyes, rashes, fevers, throwing up, you name it. For an only child, she’s pretty good at sharing and it must have started back then. At the time it was incredibly frustrating; I mean, I had her in a child care center so I could go to work, right? But I had to miss work when she was sick.
There must be something to the rumor that all these illnesses build a child’s immune system, because by the time she was a Monkey (there was no Tiger room back then) she was hardly catching a cold. Fast forward another half-dozen years and she’s still one of the healthiest kids I know–as are many of her EC3 friends with whom she still pals around.
Of course this doesn’t provide immediate comfort to my exhausted friend with three young, sniffly children. But all of us parents can benefit from the perspective of time, and the reassurance of stories from others who have been through the trenches.
Hang in there. Here’s a tissue.