When I was a kid, I used to think it'd be nice to get sick and have to spend all day in bed and not have to do school (since we homeschooled, getting sick meant getting out of homework). I'd read about it in books--kids who got sick and got to stay home and have lunch in bed and read books all day. Once in a while I'd day-dream about how nice it'd be.
Then when I got my wish, I realized it wasn't so great as I'd thought it might be. I remember one day in particular. I was thirteen. That morning we were scheduled to go visit a school that my parents were thinking of sending my brother and me to the next year. I'd had a sore throat for a couple of days, and I woke up that morning with a case of tonsillitis. I got to stay in bed and eat lunch in my room, and read through T.A. Barron's entire series on the Lost Years of Merlin, but it wasn't that much fun, because my tonsils felt like they were on fire. Four and a half years later, when I finally got referred to a specialist who took one look at my tonsils and said they needed to come out, I refused to skip more than one day of school for the surgery (and the day I got them out, I made it through a pre-calc midterm and French class before heading off to the surgery center, skipped dance class that night and writing class the next morning, spent the weekend eating jello, and went back to school on Monday, and then the next weekend, I supervised preschoolers at the Thanksgiving retreat at the camp I'd worked at the summer before...and yes, it was rather hellish and I probably should have skipped a couple more days of school and really shouldn't have volunteered to baby-sit small children when I couldn't take my medicine while watching them because I didn't want to be high from the painkillers while making sure they didn't eat the crayons).
All this to say, I'm home sick today. It's just a cold. But it's the kind of miserable cold that comes with a sore throat, clogged sinuses, and the inability to sleep deeply because I need to breathe. It's not fun. I'm exhausted and lightheaded and I can't fall asleep and it seems like I'm cold no matter how many layers I'm wearing and I'm sure I've gone through most of a box of kleenex. I called in sick, since spreading more germs around and sneezing and sniffling my way through class tonight are not my idea of fun (the prof I TA for agreed; besides, I might make everyone else sick and that's no good). The hope is that by taking today off, I'll be able to function tomorrow. It's too bad I'm too sick to enjoy having a nice quiet day at home.
But I do remember how much fun it sounded like when I was a kid. Like a day off that you had to take. But it's even less fun when no one's around to look after you. It isn't romantic, like in The Secret Garden or any of those other books. It's just bleah.