The taste of mucus reminds me of being little. It’s such a specific taste, and I think everyone can agree it is unique. Like a turkey dinner, the nostalgia from snot makes me think of all the blissful days spent at home missing school growing up. The night before elementary school, like Tuesday, I’d be feeling really crappy. I’d not do my homework because I could feel the cold sneaking into my sinuses and could probably bet that I could play it up in the morning and get out of going that day. I never took too much advantage of my parents; they were both reasonable people, I didn’t have to have a 104 degree fever and a green tongue to miss going in. I generally got out of school with a slight warmth to my forehead and some well placed sniffles.

Sometimes, when I was younger, my parents would stay home with me and I remember a lot of fond memories doing scrabble with my mom, playing chess with my dad, paper-mache with Mom, table-top football with my Dad, etc. We’d watch movies like “Austin Powers”, “There’s Something About Mary”, and “Sabrina”. Other than feeling kinda crappy, I really enjoyed these days off. We’d eat chickarina soup and I got to drink all the ginger ale I wanted (I never drank soda!). The only annoying part was having to go to bed early. No exceptions. I remember lying awake and praying to still be sick the next day. Missing two days of school was a vacation that rarely happened.

Now, being sick is just an annoyance. It’s like I have to go through my daily activities except I’m high on dayquil and feeling overall like a hot bag of garbage. When I’m home, couch-ridden, I’m usually alone and I don’t buy myself ginger-ale. Instead, I drink gallons of sleepy-time tea and post Facebook status updates about the stuff I’m watching on Netflix. If I could not be sick ever again, that’d be fine by me. I Like being busy with all the stuff I do! I don’t want to not go to school tomorrow! I want to do my homework! If I have a day off, I want it to be planned!

If I could tell my 8 year-old-self that one day, being sick will be a real headache, I don’t think I would have believed myself. Because, who wouldn’t want to spend a whole day with Mom or Dad’s full attention, a nap in the middle, a hot cup of soup and someone stroking your hair as you both watch “Ferris Beuler’s Day Off” on the couch? Hell, if that’s what being sick still meant, I’d sign up for that about once a month.

One day I’ll make my kid feel the same way about being home with a fever. And I’ll drink a ton of ginger ale and get a day off, too.

February 18, 2013 at 5:22 am by Natalie Allen