Yesterday Camilla woke up with a runny nose, and by the afternoon Blaise had it as well. I Googled "common cold incubation period" and determined that yes, they did in fact catch it at Camilla's very first Atrium session this past Friday.
I told Bryan that the kids had caught the cold at Atrium and he said, "How much of the fee do you think we can get back if we pull her out after only one session?"
He was only sort-of joking.
And that was before we had the most horrible night we've had in months, wherein Camilla woke up crying at least half a dozen times and Blaise was awake, WIDE awake, from 12am to 3am and then proceeded to get up for the day as usual at 6am.
So my poor husband and I are both zombies today and the idea of quarantining our children forever so that we never again have to undergo such misery is a little appealing. It's ill-advised, neurotic, and impossible, of course. But still appealing.
My mother, sainted woman that she is, did not fret about illness when we were children, at least as far as I can remember. We kids were a healthy pack but I can't recall her ever canceling plans to avoid exposing us to other kids who were sick. None of us had any health complications, so we just caught the bugs, and got through them, and our immune systems were better for it.
Since my own children are blessed to be health-complication free, I am all about this lassez-faire approach to exposure. In theory.
In practice, when a friend tells me that her children have a little cold and asks if we want to reschedule the play date, my stomach clenches up and I almost always say yes, let's reschedule, I'm afraid of my kids getting sick.
During Camilla's first two years I was not afraid of her getting sick. I didn't particularly enjoy it, but when a possible-exposure situation came up I could weigh the various factors and use prudence to make a decision.
Then we had RSV last January, and when my twenty-day-old was discharged from the children's hospital he had spent half his life with a nasal cannula blowing oxygen up his nose. I learned while we were at that hospital just how fortunate we are to have healthy children, and we were fortunate with the RSV too. No one was ever in danger. But I still don't ever want to do that again if I can help it.
Somehow that whole experience conditioned me. I can still use prudence to assess real risks and make reasonable decisions, if I focus very hard. My gut reaction, though, does not involve reason. It's that clenching stomach of fear.
We're keeping Camilla in Atrium, and I'm confident it's the right decision. I don't ever want to let fear rule my life.
But man, it's hard sometimes.
Is there something you're afraid of?