Jack stayed home from school today. He has a bug. My children never get defined illnesses; no flu or pneumonia for them, no ear infections, no Hepatitus. No, they just feel sick and have mild fevers and stomachaches.
Now, considering the possibilities, I can't complain. I'm glad that when they get sick, they usually only get a little bit sick. However, their vague illnesses do make it hard to decide whether or not they should go to school. It doesn't help that their regular temperatures tend to run low (mine, too), so it's almost impossible to tell when someone around here has a fever unless they're really burning up.
Jack's particularly hard to diagnose, as he is always pale and somewhat lethargic. Yesterday morning he came down saying he felt hot and nauseated, and he did indeed seem on the warm side and looked rather ill, though Jack always looks ill in the morning, like he could twelve or thirteen more hours of sleep.
The Man's rule of thumb for whether or not a child claiming illness should go to school is simple. Are you still alive? You are? Well, then, have a great day! Tell your Algebra teacher I say hi! The Man, it could be said, is a stoic. He's never, ever sick, or if he is sick, he refuses to admit it. He landed in the hospital once because he stoically believed what he had was just a little cold, when it fact it was a major sinus infection that made him an ideal candidate for several days of intravenously administered antibiotics.
I, on the other hand, have a reputation, for dramatically taking to my bed at first sniffle. So the Man doesn't consider me a good judge of a child's fitness for schooling. He thinks I'm wimpy mom, ready to send a child back to bed at the first, tiny sneeze. And okay, I sort of am. But I know a hot forehead when I feel one, and Jack's forehead was hot. Or at least sort of hot. No, it was definitely hot.
Really, I might have sent him to school, except for visions of angry moms dancing in my head. It's a week before Thanksgiving, and the last thing anyone wants is a sick kid in the backseat of the minivan as you head out to Grandmother's house. So yes, I let my vaguely sick child stay home. I did it for the mothers and the grandmothers. I did it for Thanksgiving turkeys and cornbread stuffing. I did it for America.
Mothers of Our Fine School, you can thank me later. Preferably with pie.