Reflections On A Sick Birthday

Actually, Lucas was completely fine yesterday. But Mrs. Klocek told me to keep him home, so I did. A child with a fever is supposed to be given a “day of rest” before he goes back to school.

It was a hard pill for me to swallow. I was so disappointed to not be in his RRK class with Ian; I’ve been looking forward to it all year long. He, however, was happy as a clam to be home.

“Mommy, am I really 5 now?”
“Yes, starting today and for a whole year!”
“I’m catching up with Natasha!”

Lucas must have asked me if he was “really 5 now” at least a half-dozen times yesterday.

I realize I was in a funk because his birthday didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, and because I didn’t get to do the things I had planned. I was mad, but not at Lucas. And I spent a fair amount of time inwardly trying to adjust my attitude. It was, after all, his birthday. And it’s no fun to have your mommy pissed off at you on your birthday, especially when you didn’t do anything wrong.

He spent part of the morning outside hitting balls off his new T. I resented that he was outside having fun instead of being “sick.”

Gradually, though, I came to see the fever he had the day before as a manifestation of the birthday. Lots of excitement, lots of anxiety, lots of pressure. Truly, he was most comfortable spending his birthday at home, in his own space, with me and Asher. I asked him if he was sad to be missing school and his friends. He said, “No. But I do miss my dad.” Perhaps his body coped with the pressure by running a fever, effectively engineering the perfect birthday: one that was low-key, quiet, and safe. Perhaps he needed some time to make the transition from 4 to 5, to let the knowledge that he’s “really 5 now” sink in.

We made banana muffins together from a mix and added in dried fruit. Then we made frosting and frosted them and added all the sprinkles we could find in the cupboard–stars, green sugar, and multicolored balls. It was fun. He stuck with the project from start to finish and even helped me clean up. We dipped strawberries and bananas in the leftover melted chocolate too.

He also worked happily and quietly in his new “homework” book (a preschool skills book we gave him for his birthday). He played outside on the new play structure. We ate leftover shrimp tostadas for lunch. He was perfectly well behaved the whole day.

When Ian got home, we went out to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory and finally got to eat in the dining train car! They serve ice cream there, ya know.

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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