The Cure for Sick Kids.

by Vicki Larson


The phone call could not have come a better time. I had just spent a wonderful weekend helping my friend celebrate her 50th birthday at Wine Country getaway, cooking for her with spouses and friends, wine tasting the next day, laughing and hot-tubbing, and then spending a cozy, intimate evening with my boyfriend.


I was rested, rejuvenated, blissful, and ready to enjoy my two boys who were due to come back to me from their dad’s that afternoon.


So even the automated phone call from Tam High — the school would be closed for at least three, perhaps five days, because a student was suspected of having swine flu — didn’t faze me.


I’d be at work as usual, and they’d be at home, an unexpected “vacation” that they’d have no trouble filling up by typical teenage activities — sleeping; eating; texting, IMing, Facebooking and tweeting; TV watching, and a whole lot of Xbox playing.


But unless you have kids who are old enough take care of themselves, as I do, or a stay-at-home-parent to oversee things, the unexpected “vacations” from school — and even the expected ones, like all the various week breaks, three-day weekends and summer vacations — can cause a working parent stress similar to the first year after you bring your bundle of joy home from the hospital. Good Lord, what do I do with him?