Hank: (swallowing) OW!!!!
Me: Right that is my queue to get to the store and back as quickly as possible.
Hank: (swollen face, swollen glands, miserable) I’m fine.
Me: Your Prima (cousin Monica) is here if you need anything.
Hank: I love my Prima. I missed her when she was home in Luxembourg. I am so happy she is back.
Me: Your Prima is someone very special and you are so lucky to live with her. I mean, come on, she knows all the words to every pop song in English, French and Portuguese. Extremely handy.
Hank: I know, right!
Me: Because of this time with your Prima you will have someone you can turn to your whole life. When you have no one else you will have Monica, especially when you are 15 and are done talking to your mother altogether.
Hank: (cough, cough) That will never happen.
Me: We’ll see. My cousin Mark lived with us when I was very small. He is a few years older than your Uncle Jesse and he has always felt like a big brother and not my cousin.
Hank: Living in the same house is special.
Me: Indeed. Please finish your tea and when I get back you can have a Coca-Cola.
Me: Coca-Cola is necessary. I always got Coca-Cola when I was sick as a kid. It’s an American thing.
Hank: I’ll take it!
Me: The bubbles will help and you need the calories. You don’t have fat stores like I did when I got sick a few weeks ago. I had the reserves I needed to lose those 10lbs.
Hank: How much is 10lbs again?
Me: 5 kilos.
Hank: That is a lot.
Me: I know! I am back in my skinny, pre Amália jeans. Only benefit to two weeks in bed from a gut virus. YOU on the other hand have been skinny your whole life so even though it hurts to eat we have to get calories in you every day.
Hank: It’s not just the hurting I just don’t feel like eating. I am not hungry.
Me: I understand, buddy, but you’ve got to try. What special things can I get you at the store?
Me: Butter crossants?
Hank: Can we toast them with cheese?
Me: You bet.
Hank: Can you get me this one cereal I want to try? It is called Lion.
Me: (making a list) Of course. What else? Chocolate Moose? Popsicles? I have soup for lunch.
Hank: They have those at the store?
Me: Yes, there is a booth. It’s December.
Hank: That’s right. I completely forgot. Can we make the tree this weekend?
Me: Claro (of course). So I will get Bacalhau (salted cod fish). How much? 2.5 kilos (5 lbs)? (facetious) I know you love it.
Hank: Ewww, mom. Don’t even think about it.
Me: What? You mean you don’t want the house smelling like soaking salted cod for a few days before I boil it and then the whole house and our hair will smell like boiled, rehydrated salted cod fish? Hank, It’s Christmas! Don’t be a Scrooge!
Hank: Yuck. No. Mama. I will get sick everywhere. I don’t like Bacalhau (salted cod fish)! And the smell when you boil it. I will puke. Thinking about it I will puke and that will hurt so bad.
Me: How can you be Portuguese and not like Bacalhau? I like it.
Hank: (too smart for his own good) You like it when other people make it. That is different.
Me: Ohhhhhhh so guilty.
Hank: (coughing, miserable, exhausted from having fun)
Me: Alright… I will stick to the list.
Hank: (sipping his hot tea through a straw) OW!
Me: (wincing for him) Be back soon.
Hank: (exhausted) Take your time. Thank you, mama.
Me: Love you.
Hank: (head flopping against the pillow, eyes back on the TV) Love you.