We got the call yesterday afternoon. 

I was taking a nap on the sofa – an activity I have tried to embrace while the boys are at camp.  With one week to go before we pick them up, I am going to try to nap as much as possible.  Given my intensely insane in the membrane driven personality, I can’t just admit that I am taking a nap.  Rather, I tell myself that I am just going lie down and think about writing, knowing full well that within 30 seconds I will be out like a light.  Which is what happened yesterday around 4:00 p.m.

The next thing I know Dave is standing over me with the telephone.  My initial reaction is to be slightly annoyed that he is going to disturb my slumber.  But then I hear him say, “You should probably talk to my wife.”

He hands me the phone.  Chase is sick at camp.

The rundown:  He went to the infirmary on Saturday because he was tired and not feeling well.  No symptoms except a fever of 102 degrees which was brought down with Advil only to go up to 103.8 yesterday.  The doctor saw him.   No ear infection.  No sore sore throat. No vomiting.  In fact, the nurse I spoke to called him “charming”. 

Hmmmm. I think quickly.  Charming?  Is charming a symptom of viral meningitis?   Because that is what I think he has.  In fact, I think every time anyone gets a fever, it is viral meningitis.  I sleep wrong and my neck hurts?  Viral meningitis

Of course the nurse does not ask me if I want to speak to Chase.  I don’t think that is allowed.  I’m not sure it would be recommended.  It would probably make me feel worse.  She assures me he is comfortable and not suffering and encourages me to call back.  She does not tell me to come and get him.

Dave offers that he is probably better off in the infirmary than with us.  I’m not so sure.  Personally, I think I do my best parenting when the boys are sick.  I set them up with extra pillows, ginger ale, TV, toast with apple jelly, and I check in on them often.  What if Camp H has no apple jelly?

In situations like these I want nothing more than to be The Good Parent.  But who is The Good Parent?

To the camp, The Good Parent is supportive of the staff and trusts them to take care of their sick son without driving the infirmary crazy and calling every hour to see where his temperature is.

To some mothers, The Good Parent does not bow to camp pressure and demands to speak to their child so they can hear first hand how the kid is doing.  Maybe The Good Parent even drives up to camp to see for herself?

I wonder who The Good Parent is to Chase?  If I knew, that is who I would be.  But since I don’t,  I’ll hang out in Good Parent purgatory, where we wait to head in one direction or the other once the situation becomes clear.  And we worry. 

The Good Parent always worries.

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