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Did you ever play hooky when you were a kid? When I was a kid my parents took us out of school for various reasons. My cousins moved to Las Vegas when I was in 5th grade and every year after that we would take one to two weeks off of school to visit them.

We would spend a week camping and water skiing at Lake Mead. On Sunday we would go to church with my cousins and spend the rest of the day at their house. Depending on how our vacation worked out sometimes we would go to church in Moapa Valley.

Over the years we learned that camping in the fall was far superior to camping in the spring. The water was oh so warm and awesome. Springtime in Lake Mead usually meant rain. All week. Not warm rain either. So we would take our soggy selves to the Valley of Fire and other nearby parks or tourist attractions for something to do. Water skiing in the rain isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds! Although I loved the year we took a tour of the Hoover Dam. That was very interesting. I don’t remember if it was that same week or another year but my grandpa drove the boat as close to the Hoover Dam as we could get. That was pretty cool to see it from that perspective. My brother skied forever around the dam. Ah memories.

The memory I meant to tell was how I felt when I was not in school. The first few years I lived with diabetes I went to Clinic. That’s what my family called it anyway. There I met with my doctor, nurse, dietician, and social worker. There may have been other team members but those were the ones I remember. I would also get my blood drawn. One year I put up enough of a fuss about it that I convinced the phlebotomist to take the blood from my fingers instead of from my arm! It took a lot longer that way but it hurt a lot less!

Clinic would take a couple hours so I would go to school in the afternoon or get checked out early depending on my appointment time. I remember one time in 6th grade, I only know because I remember the purple and white striped sweatshirt I was wearing! My memories involve what I was wearing and I can figure out timing based on my clothes. I know, I’m weird. Anyway, Clinic was over right before lunch. I think my parents took me home to eat instead of sending me back to school to check in for the day in time for lunch. I remember stopping off at the grocery store and feeling sick to my stomach because I wasn’t in school.

I was always feeling queasy any time things were not exactly as they should be. See how long my relationship with anxiety has been? We go all the way back. If I was out of school for an appointment I felt weird until I was at the appointment. If I didn’t get to school right after I felt like a criminal! How dare I be out of school playing hooky with my parents! Vacations were different. I would get the homework ahead of time and finish it before we left town. The vacation was a welcome break at that point.

The memories keep flickering into my mind and rather than try to sort out the details here I will move on. As an adult I don’t see any issues with taking my kids out for vacations or to spend time with family visiting. Sick days are another story. My kids better be dying before I decide to keep them home. I get really uptight if they decide to be sick on days when I have plans. When I do keep them home I never know what to do with them!

What were sick days like in your house? I remember staying home from school a lot. Strep throat, flu, living in the hospital for a week being educated on diabetes, etc. I don’t remember ever staying home for a cold or fever. When I was home I was sick and in bed and wishing I was dead.

Another memory! In high school I was out with my friends and a Seminary teacher. It’s hard to say if we were all sluffing or what. Maybe it was after school. I had to have been a sophomore because first of all, Bro. Webb was driving us around and second, I remember talking to my friend in our sophomore Chemistry class a week later when he told me he felt horrible that I was sick for a week after that afternoon. He apologized profusely for encouraging me to eat all that chocolate with him.

We had gone to a craft store and James bought a package of light blue mint flavored melting chocolates. That we proceeded to eat all of. It wasn’t just the two of us. Eric had to have been there too. So three of us downing a bag of melting chocolates in a flavor I have never liked! I went home and felt like crap obviously. Only it lasted for a week because it was the flu. Good times! That may have been the flu where I read Steven King’s Firestarter. Great story. Foul language.

Well, Gavin is home today. He wanted to stay home yesterday but since he didn’t have a fever I simply told him he had a cold and he should suck it up and go to school. I felt bad since he had a barking cough already but what was I supposed to do with him? Coughing is not a real reason to stay home. The rest of the world has to function with a cold. Kids are no different. We drugged him up with the last dose of children’s ibuprofen last night before bed. I will always be grateful for Parenting Magazine for their story on remedies for common children illnesses. Anti inflammatory meds to help a child with croup breathe better has been a lifesaver for us.

He couldn’t sleep and when he finally fell asleep he couldn’t stay asleep. He was up at 9:30, 2:30, and 4:00. By 4:00 we wanted to give him more ibuprofen but we didn’t have any and Tylenol isn’t anti inflammatory. So Heath gave him a dose from Parker’s inhaler and a cough suppressant. And we decided then that he was staying home from school. That ruined Gavin’s day. He enjoys school and Fridays are his favorite days because he has Chess Club in the library right after school.

I made him hide out in my bedroom watching cartoons while Gwen had a play date. He’s been bored trying to find something to do all day. He bounces and runs like usual and once again I have to wonder if I was stupid for keeping him home. It just seemed like after all the drugs we put in his system overnight, and his restless night, school wasn’t the best idea. He could take the weekend to recover.

What’s your sick day philosophy and what were sick days like for you as a kid? Did you ever play hooky?