Georgia and I had a really low-key summer this year … weeks and weeks stretching out ahead of us with no camp for her and no major work projects or obligations for me. Literally any week in June or July would’ve been an OK time for us to get sick. We had no plans to cancel, no events we’d be disappointed to have to miss. 

So of course, we waited until my back-to-school hell week, which is also the week I’d paid for a $350 summer camp for her, to get some sort of plague that according to a million tests of all stripes was not COVID-19 but that absolutely kicked our collective asses as a family. In fact, Georgia was way sicker with whatever this was than when she had confirmed COVID back in February. 

Robert got sick first, and after two days of making soup and tea for him while secretly rolling my eyes and texting my female friends about how pathetic men are when they have the tiniest cold, I got my comeuppance in the form of feeling like I’d been hit by a truck, with a 102.5 fever, cough, headache, and congestion. Georgia was stricken at the same time, and so we spent the next two days in a haze of mucous and pain. 

“I thought it would be fun to be sick with you,” she whimpered at around 1 a.m. Wednesday while I was giving her a lukewarm bath in hopes of breaking her fever, which was even higher than mine, close to 104. “I thought we could cuddle and watch movies in a pillow fort. But I forgot that when you’re sick, you actually are, like, sick.

“I know, baby,” I said. “This is not the quality time I wanted to spend with you.”

Luckily, we had friends who kept us supplied with medicine and COVID tests and matzoh ball soup, and by the end of the week, I felt well enough to return to work (masked of course). 

I still don’t feel 100 percent – and I’m definitely not ready for school to start – but sometimes you need a couple of days like I had last week to remind you just how good normal feels. And hopefully, getting this out of the way now means I will have a mostly healthy year ahead.

Wishing the same for each and every one of you as we start back to the petri dishes known as schools!