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I’ve been out with the flu all week. It has not been the most… thrilling of experiences, to say the least. I’d go so far as to say it’s been pretty miserable. Being feverish, achey, coughing, and general unable to walk more than ten feet at a time is not exactly my idea of pleasant.

The problem with the flu is it just sort of knocks you down and makes you lie around for a few days until it’s done with you. Plans? Cancel them. Work? Call in sick. School? Hope you have a friend to get those notes. You can’t even concentrate on a book, usually–it’s just television and movies and feverish dreams.

We had a discussion at dinner the other day as we all hid behind bowls of soup and hoped we were recovering. My mom asked if we–me, Tucker, Dad, Grandmother–remembered being sick as kids. Tucker doesn’t have many memories about it. He said he blocked them out. Dad had awful asthma as a kid, and remembers that; Grandmother had a few stories. So did mom.

Personally, I have a list a mile long of stories I could tell you about when I was sick: late autumn nights on the huge swing under the oak tree, huddled under a blanket and coughing with the croup. Shuffling between the kitchen and the living room in New York to watch Persuasion with a mug of theraflu in my hands. Lying on a pallet in my parent’s room. Hallucinating about Mary Poppins in the hallway when I was eight and had the stomach virus. Swine flu, twelfth grade: 104ºF fever, three seasons of 30 rock in two days. I don’t remember a single episode. Catching laryngitis and reading the fourth Magic Tree House book, then trying to talk to my grandparents on the phone. Generally, when I was growing up, sick days were when I attacked a pile of books and drank a lot of gatorade.

One time when I was about seven years old, I came down with some sort of infection. I don’t remember what it was that time around–a stomach bug, the croup, the aforementioned time I got laryngitis–but I do remember that I was stuck in bed all day long. I was homeschooled at the time, so most of my schoolwork became reading work: math and writing would wait for me to feel better, but reading has never been a chore.

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