A little darling in my class will be out for the next two weeks after she has her tonsils and adenoids removed tomorrow. I would be sympathetic to any child and their family looking at surgery and two weeks of recovery.
However, it struck me today that many of my students are in a tough position when it comes to things like this. Her mom is a single mother and she can't take two weeks off from work. Most people can't. Luckily, the grandmother lives nearby and she will take some time off to help out. This family is also lucky enough to have health insurance, something many of our families don't have.
On the whole, this family is in a better position to weather this health challenge than many.
I mentor this little girl's older sister, a 3rd grader. About six weeks ago I talked to their mom because I noticed that she was having trouble seeing well, not huge trouble but I thought she might need glasses. Our clinic aide immediately knew that she does need glasses and had some earlier this year. (Glasses and young children do not go well together - they are frequently lost or broken.) Mom told me that she had an eye appointment in January. They had to wait until then for it to be long enough since the last appointment for the insurance. It turns out that appointment is tomorrow, the same day as her sister's surgery.
Again, luckily mom has been able to find someone to pick the older sister up from school and take her to the eye doctor.
I am quite impressed with everything this mother has managed to coordinate quickly (the surgery was bumped up a few weeks this morning). Her daughter seems almost excited about the surgery. Apparently she has been told she will get lots of ice cream and sorbet.
Dealing with something like this would intimidate me between the concern for my child and the logistics of it all. And I have a helpful husband. I am lucky. Many people aren't.