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Greetings From Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease* Central

I am writing this week's post from the couch, where two of my four children are home with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, which sounds far worse than it is. Like, just typing that made me want to wave my hands and be like, "But they're fine! They're uncomfortable, but they're fine." As far as viruses go, this one is cake.

Not that it doesn't suck, because it does. The kids have mouth sores, and Archer has had itchy spots on his hands and feet for the last several days, but the worst part of having two kids home with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is having to say the words Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.

Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is the head lice of ailments in the way that, unless you have it, it sounds like the end of the world.

Which it is not.

If you would have told me that last week, I would have gasped, because HAND FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE! AHHHHH, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

But no. We're not. It's going to be OK.

It started Monday night when Archer complained of a headache. The next morning he felt feverish, and that evening complained of sores in his mouth. When I checked his mouth, I found the sores. The next day, the blisters appeared on his hands and feet and the rest, as we say, is no-school-for-the-week history.

But this is the first time ever that the three of us have been alone like this, and it's been really lovely in a way.

Revi simultaneously showed identical symptoms. Meanwhile, Bo and Fable were fine and still are. I was advised by my doctor to take them to school so long as they weren't showing signs of illness. (They were not. Those two are tough as nails.) We were, of course, advised to be extra cautious (no kissing! hand washing, like whoa!), and that is what we have done.

As for the sick ones, there's nothing we can do but wait it out at home. Archer and Revi have been uncomfortable all week — unable to eat most things, and it breaks my heart to see them even mildly uncomfortable. Revi has had several breakdowns because "my twin sister is gone and I miss her," and Archer is ready to break out of here because he is SO OVER BEING SICK and I don't blame him.

But this is the first time ever that the three of us have been alone like this, and it's been really lovely in a way. I mean, it sucks that the kids are sick. But it's nice that they get this time, you know? Yesterday Archer lay down with Revi and sung her "The Rose" until she fell asleep. I was in my room working, and suddenly I heard his voice from down the hall, and I fell out of my chair because, DUDE.

A mom realizes how much she takes her family's health for granted when she has kids home sick — and kids who are not home sick that she must drop off and pick up while sick kids are in the car being dragged around, and HOLY SHIT, how do parents do this? This has been a tricky week. (Fable has been tardy every day, as well, because I can't bear to wake Revi up before 7:30 a.m., which has made Fable late every day to school. Catch-22 Central.)

But all in all, I feel very fortunate today.

I feel very fortunate that we only have this to deal with this week because I know that for many, weeks of children being home with REAL diseases is a reality. And I salute you all for your ability to shepherd your team and care-take and make it work for your family. You are f**king amazing.

As for us, we're just chilling here on this couch.

P.S. For those of you who have not contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, here's a little information about the "head lice" of viruses.

Clear eyes. Open mouth sores. Can't win 'em all.

From all of us here at Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Central, goodnight. And have a pleasant tomorrow.

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