This girl never gets sick. I mean it: never. She’ll occasionally do something like throw up out of nowhere, with literally zero warning (which is, as you can imagine, wildly exciting) – but then five seconds later she’ll be A-OK and back to bouncing around like a maniac.
“Are you ok?!”
“…You don’t feel sick anymore…?”
“Nope! Can I have chips?”
This is all very weird to me, because when I get sick I more or less press pause on my ability to function and/or talk about anything that isn’t how terribly, horribly sick I feel for two weeks at the absolute minimum. (Related: my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Firestone, when asked by a student what a “hypochondriac” was, pointed to me and said: “You know…like, Jordan.” And everybody nodded; ah yes, we understand. Hypochondriac. Like Jordan.)
It appears, however, that my daughter spent the first three years of her life saving up all those potential illnesses so that she could instead deploy them simultaneously over the course of a five-day period when the poor thing was such a mess that she couldn’t even watch Moana (and she can always watch Moana). (These photos, by the way, were taken when she was on her way up and out of her cold, which is why she’s a) awake and b) smiley-ish.)
The worst part of being sick – for adults, for children, and for adults who must care for said children – is the nighttime cough. WORST. All you (and they) want is to sleep, and all that coughing makes sleeping impossible.
It’s miserable. And for me, the answer every single time – dating back to when I was three years old and it was my own mother’s answer every single time – is a little Vicks VapoRub, right on the chest. Because I can read labels, I know that it contains camphor, menthol and eucalyptus, and that what it technically does is clear you up and suppress your cough so you can breathe better – and thus sleep better. But for me, it’s the ritual of using Vicks VapoRub that’s always felt like the real cure. The scent of it – and I’d know that scent from anywhere, as would you, I bet – doesn’t call up memories of being sick; it reminds me of feeling better. It makes me think about cozy beds, and toast, and book after book in bed, and my mom.
I hope one day that’s what the smell reminds my daughter of, too: just, very simply, feeling better.
Look at this angel face.
Sidenote: This book is called Rosie Revere, Engineer, and it’s SO GOOD.
This post was created in collaboration with Vicks VapoRub.