Shades of Sickness
My oldest son has a sniffle. It’s not a bad sniffle, probably just an allergy thing or something, but it’s definitely noticeable.
On Friday night, he announced that he was sick.
“I’m sick,” he said. “I don’t think I can do cross country tomorrow.”
He didn’t want to sign up for cross country this year, but was kind of forced into it because of scheduling. Every weekend he tries to convince us that he doesn’t have to run. What he doesn’t know is that he we’re never going to make him run. If he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to. Still, it’s fun to watch him try to get out of it.
“If you’re that sick,” I said. “What about soccer? We have a game tomorrow.”
“And your friends are coming over in the afternoon,” my wife chimed in. “We can’t get them sick.”
“I’m not that sick!”
“So, you’re too sick to run cross country, but not too sick to play with friends.”
He gave me his “stop mocking me” look. “I’m not that sick now, but cross country is really hard work, and it might make me sicker. Running all that way? In the cold morning air? Come on, Dad!”
My wife crossed her arms. She’s good at hiding a smile, but this time she was having problems. “What about soccer?”
“We-ell,” he drew the word out as long as he could. “Soccer is in the afternoon. It’s after the air has heated up, so it won’t be as bad.”
“Good point,” I said, nodding. “And if you start to feel bad, you can wave your hand, and the coach will pull you out.”
“Yeah! That way I won’t get any sicker.” He nodded emphatically to his mom. “See? I’m too sick for cross country, but not so sick that I can’t play soccer or play with friends.”
“You’re sure?” she said. “Because I wouldn’t want you to miss out on running cross country. I know how much you love it.”
I bit the inside of my cheek to stop myself from smiling.
The big guy looked back and forth between us, his eyes suspicious. “What’s going on?”
“Oh, nothing. We just thought of something funny. That’s all.”
Giggling, my wife and I walked away.