Flu season and Valentine’s Day (both equally appealing)

Most of us spent Monday caught up in the hustle and bustle of Valentine’s Day. I hope everyone had a wonderful time. We had a day of school parties and snacks and making valentines for all of our friends. In this age of computers I am now allowed the convenience of saving postage and effort by simply jumping onto my Facebook and posting “I love you” on all my friend’s walls. Easy enough, huh? This brings me to my personal take on the holiday. Valentine’s Day, for the most part, makes me want to jab number two lead pencils into my own eyes. Please don’t think that I am cruel or heartless when I say this, it’s just that I’m not one of those women who subscribe to the idea that we should focus all of our love and little paper hearts and kindnesses for one another on this one specific day of the year.

My girlfriends and I joke that Valentine’s Day is really nothing more than a boost in the economy for Hallmark, Russell Stovers and whatever company makes those horrible, chalky-tasting conversation hearts. It’s not that I’m anti-romance, mind you. I just think we should show our love and kindness for one another everyday of the year. It’s important to me that the people closest to me know exactly how I feel about them… everyday. I don’t need a date on a calendar to remind me that I need to tell my loved ones how much I appreciate them. We should as often as we can. This being said, I will NEVER turn down a box of chocolates- regardless of the holiday- so feel free to keep those coming!

Maybe one of my biggest issues this Valentine’s Day was that several in my family are sick with this awful flu that seems to be going around. We have slowly passed it through my house from the kids on up and now I am seeing the same thing happen in the homes of many of my friends. As I am about to step up on my soapbox here, let me grab a bottle of Germ-X hand sanitizer and we will continue… May I be so bold as to ask a favor on behalf of the general public? I usually don’t make it a habit of speaking for anyone but myself, but in this one instance I feel we will all benefit. Parents, if your children are sick (running a fever, achy, flu-like symptoms) please, please keep them home. Make an appointment, see a doctor, find out if they are ill; but for the love of all that is holy please don’t send a child with a 102 degree temperature to school to expose his/her class of 20 or more children to whatever it is your little darling is carrying.

I have two children. I know that it is sometimes impossible to catch illness right as it is occurring. We’ve all been there. You send your child to school perfectly well and fine and three hours later the clinic calls and your little baby has inadvertently offered an encore presentation of his/her lunch which is now spewed all over the gym floor. This is not the situation of which I am speaking. I am talking about that moment of reckoning a parent must face in the morning when your child is complaining of not feeling well, but you are already running late for work and you don’t have a “plan b” in place for the day. I would like to offer this advice- try to always have your “plan b“ in place. That way, on a morning when your child truly is sick you will know immediately who to call. As a mom I totally understand that illness can be unfortunate and even (dare I say) inconvenient at times, but the fact is that when you entered this elite group of people known as “mothers and fathers” you took on the responsibility of caring for your child at any cost. Keep those sick babies at home, or at nana’s house, or with granny until they are well and then send them back into the fold. Otherwise, our adorable little nose-picking and hand-licking angels will continue to perpetuate this cycle of flu until next Valentine’s Day… where you will find me sitting by a box of Russell Stovers chocolates with my number two lead pencils close at hand. 

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