Fever

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


My daughter has had a high fever for three days. You know the kind of fever I am talking about. When all you can do is lie there, you can't read or eat or watch your favorite movie. You can't even sit up to drink water. Someone has to hold the glass for you. Hooray for bendy straws!

When she was an infant, she suffered from febrile seizures. As a young mother, each one stopped my heart. Also, because this child is a bit on the sober and quiet side, I never knew when she was ill until the fever came. I was comforting a fellow blogger whose child had their first febrile seizure and realized that since those episodes ended, my daughter rarely has fevers. It was as if she burned up much of the karma childhood fevers dispel. Until Friday. She has been in bed, fever rising and sometimes falling, but not for long. Her eyes are glazed and I can tell she is suffering.

In our house, we try to let the fever have it's way. My feeling is that a fever is good, it helps fight the infection. So instead of handing her a pill to relieve the fever, we just monitor it closely. One trick, which the children HATED when they were young, was to put a pair of wet cotton socks over their feet and cover the wet socks with wool socks. The cool feet help to pull the heat away from the head. You can do it with a t-shirt too, but my children would NEVER tolerate that, so the wet socks are our go to fever remedy.

I always look for a great transformation after a fever. I truly believe a fever helps us to release baggage we would otherwise hold on tightly to. The fire of a fever allows us to make a few steps further in our development. In the case of my daughter, she has been having intense feelings regarding going away to university in the fall. I know she wants to go, and I want her to go. But, you see, we have lived in this wee cottage many a year. Much of this time, we have shared a room. She shares many features of my face and my personality. I know she is frightened to be leaving, I am too. I just believe this is right for her. She has lived tucked tightly under my wing for so long. I think this fever is trying to free us both. I have been able to nurse her and sit with her, comb her hair and gently place a cool towel over her brow. I feel as though we are being given a gift of time together. A time for me to sit on the edge of her bed, rub her forehead and keep her blankets tucked safely around her. Our days together are going to shift very soon, I revel in this time together. I pray for her quick recovery, but I long for a reminder of these quiet days together...Be well, my darling.

2 comments:

Frank said...

You know this is just a transition to a different but equally beautiful part of your relationship with your daughter. You two are so close and that bond will strengthen after your brief time apart. I look forward to seeing you together as two grown women, rather than just mother and child. The best is yet to come.

Truthfully, I felt a great loss when my children left the nest. I am only now starting to feel the immense satisfaction of seeing them as successful, independent (almost) adults. That joyous feeling has now supplanted the loss.

Christopher Guilfoil said...

How wonderful! The "illnesses" of childhood are our attempt to free ourselves from our parental heritage. Seen in that light you are correct, she is one more time making her vehicle for individuality her own. It is a beautiful thing to behold a mother and daughter who let this spiritual reality take shape in such a conscious manner. It would be great to see a recent picture of the two of you together. Saying all that, I hope she feels better soon!