On Listening and Hallucinations

So often I think society short changes our youngest citizens.  We assume our youth to be in need of constant glitz and glamour and unable to grasp concepts without entertainment.  I don’t agree.  I think kids are fully capable of holding mature and in depth conversations without the need of flashy presentations.

Even junior highers, who, as we all know, tend to be a species all their own.

I thoroughly enjoyed the eighth grade students I spoke with on Thursday.  They were bright and engaging and terribly adorable.  They asked really great, insightful questions about writing, overcoming writer’s block, how to seek publication and so on.  Many of them were avid readers and were far more articulate than I ever was at that age.

Because Sloan was not feeling well (which, MOM FAIL, I thought was just a ploy to get some alone time with me for the day) he tagged along with me to the career fair.  I so enjoyed having him to myself for the morning.  No one told me that parenting would be so hard so young.  I knew that it would be a lot of work.  I didn’t know that it would be emotionally draining by the time age seven rolled around.

Connecting with him one on one was a blessing I didn’t know I needed.  And Sloan, in turn, learned a little something about me.  All that time I spend on the computer?  I’m not just playing games.

“You work?!” he asked.

“Yes.  I am a writer.  That’s what I’m doing when I’m on the computer…most of the time.”

“But only dads work!” he exclaimed.

Oh boy. 

So along he came, a few books in tow, to sit with me as I spoke with the kids.  He was great.  My first group was comprised entirely of pretty little girls, which sent Sloan into a flurry of embarrassed chatter and flirting.  It’s inate, the flirting!  So we had a little talk before the second group came along about not talking and just listening.

So he did.  He listened – maybe a little too closely.  He brought home one of the packets that the students received on writing.  These were some of the notes he took upon listening to me speak:



He also wrote me this little note, which just made my day weekend month.


Upon leaving the meeting, we headed home where Sloan promptly began running a fever.  This began two of the most dreadful nights I’ve had as a mom.  I was alone.  My son was sick, restless and hot.  Very, very hot.  Thursday night he peaked around 103.  Niether one of us slept much, in part because his fever was so high and in part because he kept flicking his expander in and out of his mouth all night without even realizing it which was equal parts disgusting and annoying.

Friday we laid low.  He ran a fever all day, but it wasn’t too terribly frightening.  I promised the kids we’d have a sleep over at their grandparent’s house (who are currently out of the country) and so we headed over with snacks and a movie.  As soon as the sun went down, though, his fever spiked.  He and I “slept” on the couch, which really means that I was up and down all night getting cool cloths for his forehead and neck.

At 1:00 I took his temperture and flipped out when it read almost immediately 104.9.  Sloan was very restless, couldn’t lay still and couldn’t sleep.  He was murmruing in his sleep and would occasionally sit up and say random things like “Give Sadie more water,” or “Tia move!”  Even in a delusional, feverish state he manages to fight with his sister.


At one point he sat up and started reaching for an invisible object, which sent me into all manor of panic.

I had quite the adventure trying to locate medicine to try and bring his fever down.  I briefly considered pulling a Ma Ingalls and packing him in a tub of ice, but though better of it and instead prayed and wondered at what point I was supposed to wake the other two up and take him to the hospital.

Laying next to him when he was that hot was almost as miserable for me as it was for him.  He wanted to be close, but didn’t want to be touched.  Imagine spooning the sun.  That’s what it felt like.  We made it to morning and hightailed it to the doctor’s office where she confirmed my suspcions: Influenza.

Two days of Tamiflu later and we’re down to a low grade fever and nasty cough.  And Lee should finally be home any minute now.

And I feel like I could conquer the world for surviving that.  Just as soon as I get a decent night’s sleep, of course…


  1. SO sorry about your sick man-child! Bless both of you!

    We were on the subway in DC when my youngest son was about 4. He was fascinated by the woman next to us who had braids and beads in her hair and a dazzling smile. Being gregarious he struck up a conversation with her during our ride. At our stop we exited the car and he turned and asked loudly if she was getting off too! She replied that she was headed to work. He began to laugh and VERY loudly said …..for the entire subway car to hear….”No WAY! Girls can’t go to work!”

    It brought the house down and thankfully the doors closed quickly! 🙂

  2. Mom Mom Go Mom!! 🙂

  3. Whoa lady! I’m so proud of you! I’m glad Lee is coming home. Next time he head’s out of town for training let’s get together.
    Glad all is improving,

  4. I don’t know how single moms do it. Taking care of the little sick ones all by themselves. Cudoes to you. You survived. Glad he is feeling better.

  5. Bekah – I know! My friend Tiffany who commented above you did it alone for a year while her husband served in Afghanistan. She is one of my heroes! 🙂


  1. […] maybe it’s a bit of cosmic payback that I have children who run fevers that settle in the rafters. I dunno, but last night as I cradled my daughter’s feverish body, her temp measured 105.5. […]