So, I am standing in the kitchen, preparing fresh juice for Levi, because although we don’t drink much juice anyway, I figured if we do, it should at least be as natural as possible. The blend of pineapple, lemon, and ginger I created is called IMM-U.N.I.T.Y. If the U.N.I.T.Y. reference missed you, then I am jealous of your youth, but it’s a song by Queen Latifah you need to get familiar with, especially if you have ovaries. Anyhow, I have some nice reggae music playing, and I am relishing in the nurturing nature of the act of making something, creating something for my family, and in comes Ambyr.

“He has RSV again.”

I pour more juice into the strainer, trying to think before I speak because Mercury is retrograde, and I can’t afford an argument right now. I remember putting my head to his chest at Target earlier in the day, trying to make sure that he wasn’t wheezing. I let out a weak, “He does?”

“Yup, he is breathing fast again,” she says. Somehow, I keep straining, taking an inventory of how long picking up all the peels will take. The kitchen is an organized mess, washed dishes atop the counter just like Ambyr hates it, and the soup pot from last night is still on the stove. I know the realization that he is sick is going to take hold of me, and my sick child kit-more on this later- is going to make a grand tour around the house before the weekend is out. He has only been in school one full week-which for him consists of three, three hour days. If this is indeed RSV, it will be the second time he has had it in a four month span. Before he went to Montessori school, we were told that he would get sick all the time. All kids do, right? In this very moment, I feel like just giving up. As much as I want him to go to school and hang out with other snot-loving children, I have to be honest with myself about his situation, and his vulnerability to illnesses. Germs love him. His status as an ex-preemie makes him an easy target for everything, especially respiratory illnesses.

When he turned two, and Ambyr broached the subject of him going to school, I had no reservations because I felt like it would be good for the both of us. Save a couple vacations, I have been with him every day since his eventful birth. While I feel like that is a blessing, I also know that at some point, I want my career back, and since I am extremely cautious, a few hours out of a few days feels safe enough. I am somewhere in the middle when it comes to the lot of parents who don’t believe in sending their kids to daycare vs those who staunchly do. While I know pre-schools are havens for viruses like RSV, I am also of the mind that kids would rather hang out with their own kind sometimes, and each day when I am spying at the gate, I either see him interacting with some girls, or holding his teacher’s hand. Both parties are people outside of his usual pod, and so learning to interact with them has to be a good thing, right? On the other hand, for now, I am still a stay-at-home mom. That money leaving our house each month could pay for a myriad of other things. As a matter of fact, I was a little stunned when my wife suggested it, because she is not a huge fan of spending money, but she is institutionalized from being in the military for so long, and heavily believes that kids need school as early as possible. I strongly disagree. I have taught him the basics already, without the aid of underpaid teachers (my old clique) and vintage toys. There are so many places in my neighborhood for children to socialize. I could easily choose one for every day of the week and spend way less than what we are giving to the Montessori school. I wouldn’t have to worry about what snacks he is being given or why his face wasn’t cleaned after lunch. Right now, I am of the mind he doesn’t need to go back to that particular learning center, but I do want him to have a community somewhere.