Last Sunday, right around three in the afternoon, a wave of nausea hit me. I’ve been down with the flu ever since. My wife moved out to the couch and my father-in-law postponed his visit. I spent the week mostly in bed, with occasional sojourns out to the kitchen to listen to all the adventures my family has been having on their week off.
Crash: What’s that noise?
Buck: It’s the wind. It’s speaking to us.
Eddie: What’s it saying?
Buck: I don’t know. I don’t speak wind.
It’s weird spending a week in bed with the flu, too headachy to concentrate on anything. You see lots of movies, and they blend together in your dreams, mingling with the stories your family has been telling you. The whole situation leaves you in a disconnected haze, unsure what’s real and what’s fantasy, but fairly certain that your children are not, in fact, tiny dinosaurs.
Elly: Our friend was taken by a dinosaur!
Buck: Well, he’s dead. Welcome to my world. Now, uh, go home.
Yesterday, the family packed up and went to my folks for Thanksgiving. I stayed here and tried to get a little work done. I didn’t have much luck, but it did help to wake me up a bit more, and that was good.
The name’s Buck. Short for Buckminster. Long for Buh.
By now, you’re probably wondering what these mildly deranged ramblings have to do with Thanksgiving, so let me see if I can explain it a little better. At no point during this week did I find myself worried about my family.
Yes, I felt guilty about not being able to take part in the holiday.
Yes, I worried about professional obligations.
Yes, I was disappointed I couldn’t join in their adventures.
But I never worried about them, about how the kids would deal with Daddy being sick, or about how my wife would manage without me. Even in my most extreme fever-dream, I understood that everyone was okay, that all I really had to focus on was getting healthy.
And that’s a wonderful feeling.
So this Thanksgiving, that’s what I’m giving thanks for. Well, that and Ice Age 3.
Buck’s rules to live by:
Rule number 1: Always listen to Buck.
Rule number 2: Stay in the middle of the trail.
Rule number 3: He who has gas travels at the back of the pack.
Now if you’ll pardon me, I believe I can hear Rudy trumpeting nearby.