Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Solidarity. Do we ever use the word in English? Yet solidarité is commonly employed and cherished in French.

Today, when le Petit woke up with his first fever, unhappy and unwilling to leave my arms, I called my mother-in-law. I was reluctant to worry her needlessly, but I needed her help. She was working this morning, but quickly assured me she'd be over in the afternoon. She brought lunch, moral support, grandmotherly calm and solidarité.

I've started to think of my husband, my mother-in-law and myself as the Le Petit Support Team. We're the mechanics in the pit, always on hand with knowledge as intuitive as technical, ready to do whatever it takes to keep le Petit on track. It often takes the full-time efforts of three adults to keep him and a household running. I don't know what I'd do without them.

We spent much of the day hovering over le Petit together, speculating whether his fever was due to teething or a cold. Although the fever was moderate and dropping fast, I called our pediatrician in the afternoon for advice. He must get ten similar phone calls a day, but didn't seem to mind. Reassuringly and almost jovially, he told me not to worry if le Petit seems himself and the fever remains moderate and disappears in forty-eight hours. Probably a virus, he added. I admitted I had had a cold recently, and started to feel guilty about passing it along.

"Ah, sharing cold viruses! Just a little family solidarité!" he laughed.

So solidarité it is... for better or for worse!

1 comment:

Mom in France said...

Ah yes, the first cold. I remember writing about it before Christmas when Boo 8 months old. Since then we have been through three cycles of various colds and flus. I've been to the doctor twice since Christmas (the most ever for illness since being a kid myself) and on the last visit I expressed worry that Boo was going to catch the awful bug I had and my doctor replied, "Don't worry -- they are much more resilient than we are."

I've taken his words to heart because Boo did not get what I had. Or rather, he already had it and I didn't even notice.

Go figure. Good luck and hope everybody is feeling better.