Malcolm has swine flu.  On Sunday night, despite fabulous seats at an exciting Phillies playoff game, he was apathetic.  The next day, when he was coughing, feverish, and saying that it hurt his eyes to look up, I had a sense of foreboding.   The pediatrician did a nasal swab Monday night, and on Tuesday the verdict was in:   h1n1.  The name that failed to catch on.  Let’s just call a swine a swine.

The top priority was making sure that Malcolm was getting better.  And that meant that last night, although Chris and I had long-standing plans to go see Bruce Springsteen in his final show at the Spectrum, I shooed Chris out the door without me.

This little piggy stayed home.

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I am not a huge Bruce fan, and never bought one of his albums or CDs back when those were the prevailing technologies.  It’s not as if I felt crushed by the turn of events.  But in arriving at this decision, I will admit to some fear of public censure. 

“A 12-year-old boy, left home alone with a known diagnosis of swine flu, called 911 tonight, feverish and near-delerium.  His eldest brother was in Spain on a gap year adventure.  His other brother was at a church youth group meeting several miles away.  And his parents?  They were at Philadelphia’s Spectrum, attending a Bruce Springsteen concert.  When security guards found the neglectful middle-aged couple at their standing-room-only location on the floor, the father was yelling WOOOOO with his arms up, and the mother was swaying to Dancing in the Dark with a distant look in her eye.  Child welfare officials have been notified.  The 12-year-old is expected to be remanded into the child custody system later today.”

All of which ties in nicely with Emily’s musings from yesterday. 

Yes, fear of public scorn, the village stocks and cyber-dunking is partially responsible for keeping me in line, as a parent.  After, of course, concern for my child’s welfare. 

PS  I’m happy to say Malcolm’s 102 fever has dropped back to normal, and his appetite has returned full-force.  He appears to be on the (Thunder) Road to Recovery.


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