Today I braved a horrible, throbbing, choking head-and-chest cold to pick Saskia up from volleyball practice. I was feeling blue because I was simply too sick to drive a second time into Boston to bring Benjy dinner at the hospital, so he was going to have to eat whatever slop they serve.
(This means he will go to bed with an empty stomach -- he doesn't eat my slop either, or anyone's. He only eats double quarter pounders, Big n' Toasteds, and the occasional "BLB" (bacon/lettuce/bbq sauce) from Subway. Period.)
And I wouldn't have the satisfaction of wishing him goodnight in person. So I was kind of sad.
Well, Saskia gets into the car and tells me that practice sucked because she was tired, but that it was actually quite good (that ol' teenage logic), and that her day off on Friday, for a visit to rheumatology, cost her big in terms of make-up homework. She expects to be up until midnight.
The visit to rheumatology was about a stiff, aching, hot and swollen knee. When you have "pre-lupus" and that happens, the doc has you get in there to be seen, pronto.
Turned out it might have been arthritis and it might have been an injury. She didn't remember injuring her knee, but volleyball is a knee-intensive sport after all. So how could we be sure? We scheduled an MRI and blood work, and were told to cancel if the knee miraculously got better on its own, Because only an injury does that -- arthritis does not. And now I get the distinct pleasure of canceling those appointments, because the knee is cool to the touch, doesn't hurt anymore, and no longer looks like a blob of risen dough.
But you were expecting a lesson in perspective, no? Fine, here it is:
Me (in car, driving): Do you have a lot of work from Friday to make up?
Saskia (in passenger seat, head resting dreamily on hand): Yeah. I have to do most of a science project tonight, on top of everything else. But I told my teacher I've been sick, and that our family is, uh, having problems, and I think she won't take points off.
Me (wondering what her teacher thinks is going on -- infidelity? Drinking? Abuse?): Welcome to the School of Hard Knocks, Sweetie.
Saskia (with a slight shake of her head): Not really. I mean, we're not hungry or homeless or anything. And no one is dying.
Me (beaming, and if truth be told, a bit teary): Thank you for that lesson, my dear.
That kid is going to do big things someday. :)