Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sniffles, Coughs, and Self-Indulgence

First week down. Homework done? Check. Excitement about school extended past the first week? Check. Matching mother/daughter colds? Check. Awww, isn't that cute? Yeah, welcome to the germs of preschool.

I phoned the school yesterday to ask if my daughter should still attend when she clearly has a cold. "She's been sick for a few days and is completely her usual self now, but is definitely still coughing and sniffling," I explain. "Does she have a fever?" they ask. "No." "Diarrhea, vomiting?" "No, no - it's just a cold." They laugh. "If we didn't let kids come to school with a cough and a sniffle, no one would be here."
Great! I think ... ?

Time to stock-up on vitamin D. Here's hoping that other parents have been nagging about the elbow cough as much as I have. And, here's hoping that my nagging will actually pay-off in my absence.

Perhaps a day of quiet studying will help me recover from my cold. Being a student really is so self-indulgent. Full-time students (myself included at one time) love to work the pity: so much studying, so much reading, so little sleep, so little food. Two words: yeah right. How about: sleeping in, reading at coffee shops, engaging in discussions with peers, having time to self-reflect/ponder the problems of the world, etc., oh, and being master of your own schedule--no one else to work around. Really, it's what I dream of doing on vacation.

Don't get me wrong, having a family and a career blows the stinky-socks off of inhabiting a stuffy cell called a library while attempting to make sense of the world through a stack of incomprehensible academic rhetoric only to explain one's life work through more academic rhetoric that the average person could never hope to understand. The personal sacrifices necessary to having a family are far outweighed by the rewards. I would and will never trade relationships for letters after my name, no matter how much I pretend to justify them by their claims of helping society.

Nevertheless, having the opportunity--for it really is an incredible opportunity--to spend time studying while being a mother, wife, etc., feels self-indulgent. I don't know that I, or any other eighteen to twenty-two-year-old for that matter, ever appreciated this opportunity as much as I do now.

Hooray for student-slash-parents! Hooray for books and learning and preschool and crayons and story-time and text books. Hooray for balance! Not-so-hooray for headaches and sniffly noses. Anyway, here's to a day of self-indulgent studying ... and Advil.

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