Feb 25, 2014 0 Share

Roman Holiday

Collage of pictures of Rome.

I have been on a bit of a Roman holiday, literally. I'm lucky enough to be able to accompany my husband on a business trip to Rome. Visiting the Trevi Fountain, the Colliseum and other touristy sites, I'm reminded of the movie, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Though I'm no princess running away from her royal duties, it feels a bit like an escape from reality—from cold and snow and everyday life. Like Princess Anne in the movie, I know it will end, and I'll go back to what I was doing before this brief getaway.

I felt a bit guilty, because Reilly wanted to come home on the weekend we were to be gone to see a show that is only in town for a few days. But not so guilty that I couldn't tell him it just wasn't going to work out. He took the news in stride, seeming to understand that this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

Of course, our contact has been limited to Facebook on this trip, which is how I learned he was sick. It seems to just be a cold, and he's already feeling better. But there's nothing quite like the helpless feeling when one of your children is sick and away from home. Being on another continent just magnifies that feeling.

Me: Go see the nurse tomorrow.

Reilly: Mom, it's a holiday (Presidents' Day). She won't be there.

Me: Then go the next day.

Reilly: I have classes at OW (NYIT's other campus) the next day.

Me: Then go to the nurse before or after your OW classes.

Reilly: (Silence.)

I fretted about how he was feeling, if he needed to see a doctor, if he needed medicine. He complained for the next couple of days, via Facebook, about not being able to sleep because of his cold. I worried about him falling asleep in class, or being too sick to go to class.

A high school friend of his went to visit the NYIT program with his parents that week, and the mom emailed, asking me if they could do anything for Reilly while they were there. "Urge him to go see the nurse, if he still feels sick," I requested. She emailed back the next day that they had dinner with Reilly and some of his friends in the cafeteria and all seemed well. I relaxed.

It's encouraging to know that he can make it through a cold without my help. He seems to have soldiered on, going to class, living his life, like an adult. I remembered middle school and early high school, when he often pretended to be sick, to avoid school. It got so bad that I had to tell him he could only stay home if he had a fever or was vomiting. There were some rough days when I had to force him to go to school, not knowing if I was doing the right thing. We've come a long way.

After a couple days of Facebook complaining, Reilly seemed to be cheerful again. He followed our trip, saying he wished he could join us. He made witty comments on a few of our posts, making us laugh. He's looking forward to seeing us at spring break.

I think he deserves a Roman holiday.