Last week, I wrote about my struggle to help my 13-year-old daughter find a Halloween costume that was fun, but not too sexy. It was no easy task. But in the end, it was a non-issue: The kid never went trick or treating.
Instead, she spent Halloween on the couch, with a fever and an awful case of the flu.
It was a scary six days in our house.
At 13 -- and sometimes, sadly, at 30 and 40 -- we're so busy thinking about all the ways our bodies don't measure up to whatever standard we hold in our heads as "perfect" that we sometimes fail to appreciate the simple pleasure and value of good health.
Normally, I'm the kind of mom who'll talk about anything, and I don't typically shy away from tough or embarrassing topics when talking to my kids. I'm a firm believer that knowledge is power, and that being truthful is the best course of action. But last week, I hid something from my daughter.
The night before my daughter got really sick, a healthy, athletic 12-year-old girl in the next town over died from the swine flu virus. The next morning, I took the front page of the newspaper with that girl's story and picture splashed across it, and hid it in the stack of recycling.