Posted in Insight, Teens


Rusinol (

I’ve been horizontal for three days–hit hard with a stomach bug.  This morning, when my 14 year old stops in my room to see if he can call a friend, I ask him to  (please) go downstairs and get me an Advil.  And do you know what he says?!

I can’t right now Mom. I’m doing something else.

He can’t right now, he’s doing something else???  Can you believe he had the gall to say that to the woman who conceived him (with difficulty), carried him (with complication) and birthed him (by emergency caesarean)?

What about the first five years of his life when I nursed him through countless colds, bouts of bronchitis, the occasional pneumonia and the incidence of pleurisy? (Who has even heard of that last one!?)

Not to mention, all the rides to school, to friends, to events…

Of course, I could write a book about just WHY he absolutely HAS to get me an Advil the second I ask–and within moments of my TIRADE on that subject, he did just that–and later today he didn’t blink twice when I made another request.

Is this a teenage thing or a boy thing, I wonder?  I’m guessing it’s largely gender based with a teenage twist.

I remember my sister Michelle telling me about the time her head was in the toilet with morning sickness.  Her daughter placed a wet washcloth on her neck, while her son asked her repeatedly if he could play Nintendo.

I had a similar experience this summer when I sliced my finger on a garden slate. Just as I felt myself beginning to pass out (a first for me), I yelled to my boys to get me a homeopathic for trauma upon which my teenager spilled the bottle on the floor.

Instead of just giving me one, he repeatedly asked what he should do with the ones on the floor.  With an ashen face and the room spinning, I tried to give him a look that said, “Is that relevant right now?” but he just kept on asking.

What is it about the male psyche that can make them oblivious to what is going on inside another?  Probably the same thing that makes my husband look at me suggestively when I have barely eaten in three days.

This is the same guy who encouraged me to “send the baby to the Nursery” after our home birth was transferred to the hospital.

“We need our sleep, that’s what it’s there for…” the traitor said before dozing off, leaving me holding our newborn after 8 hours of labor and a c-section to boot.

To be fair, my husband takes good care of me, bringing me tea and apple sauce and crackers.  Hopefully his tenderness will rub off  on my boys by the time they’ve become husbands and fathers themselves.

(How about you?  Do your sons or daughters take good care of you?)


Lifelong educator, writer, retreat & journey leader, yoga & yogadance instructor.

4 thoughts on “Flu

  1. First, I hope you feel better soon.

    Second, I used to joke that my brothers ruined me, because they held their own in deep conversations about meaningful things, they could take things apart and put them back together, they were athletic and aware of grammar, real men who met their responsibilities squarely, respected the women in their lives and expected them to do the same, and I really thought there were many men like them out there. They were hard to find.

    So comes third: I don’t think it’s necessarily a gender thing, because I know too many men who are empathetic. My sons, I think, had faith in me to take care of things because I usually did; but when I needed help because I was over-stressed or sick or had an ant in my ear (you don’t want to know), they took care of me immediately without hesitation.

    As with any other human trait, there is a continuum. For some traits males will concentrate in one end and females in another. But speaking as a female who falls generally in the middle, I try to leave room for the out-lying weirdos like me.

    I’m thinking it’s way more about being 14 than it is about being male. Remember that age? When you truly thought everyone was watching everything you did as compulsively as you did? At that age, one is expected to be self-involved. So give him some slack but point him (again) toward the end goals.

    P –


  2. LOL! I loved this post. My little one is only 15mo old, so only time will tell. My husband on the other hand is hardly consistent enough for a verdict,=. sometimes when I’m sick he’ll take the best care and others he’ll complain that I’m not better sooner…”the traitor said before dozing off, leaving me holding our newborn after 8 hours of labor and a c-section to boot” Oh how I can relate to that line!


  3. Kelly, I hope that you are feeling better. The same bug hit my husband and middle son early last week within 3 hours of each other out of nowhere. The remaining three of us are watching around corners, praying that we don’t come down with it for the holiday – especially since I am the one cooking dinner.

    I have to say that my boys are rather protective of me when I am sick or hurt. The rest of the time, I could grow antlers and a tail and turn orange and I don’t think anyone would notice as long as dinner is ready, rides are given and the laundry is done.

    Feel better,



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