Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Photo Op

Three of my children are sick. Patient Zero at our home was the now-recovered 5 year old, who is upset because she has to go to school while everyone else stays home. I’d rather go to school. Not only do I want to pull my hair out by the 3rd episode in the Suite Life on Deck mega-marathon, but Nothing is what Youngest Child wants. Not to be held, not to be put down, not to be fed, not to be hungry, not to read a book, not to... You get it.

It seems that my children aren’t the only ones who have the mysterious “no fever but my tummy hurts and I can’t eat anything” disease. How do you treat that? I’ve heard from 3 other families today, all saying their kids are sick.

It must have spread.

Illness, that’s the olive branch I’m holding out to our military.

Have you read this? And, no, it doesn’t come from some liberal, granola-crunching recycled newspaper. It comes from Germany. Well, originally, it came from Afghanistan, but Germany printed it.

I read it, and I still feel sick. Sick in my stomach. Sick in my heart.

I’m sorry for the victims. I’m sorry for their families, their villages, their countrymen. I’m sorry for the soldiers, who thought that wearing a uniform made it okay to be barbarians. I’m sorry for the soldiers’ families, who sent little boys off to fight in a war and instead of returning proud men, they’re returning full of ugliness and horror.

And I’m sorry for myself. Because the little girl I used to be, the one who waved a flag on the 4th of July, doesn’t want to see that our army isn’t always good, that it has moments of brutality and blood lust, and that makes us more like the bad guys than I’m comfortable being.

So, except for the 5 year old, all of us at my house are sick, and there isn’t a Triaminic that covers what we have. The two oldest girls might benefit from less TV. Boy might benefit from 10 more hours of sleep. But Hal and me? What panacea is there when you’re heart-sick and feel like vomiting?