It wasn't much of a surprise. His older brother had gotten over his chicken pox the week before. Everyone else in the house has had it. The inevitable happened. It started out slow, and we were hoping for a mild case. Hope may spring eternal, but the only thing springing around here were pox - lots and lots and lots of chicken pox, all over his cute little body. I went to work, thankful to the Ribbono Shel Olam that I had a sitter who came to the house (and who has had chicken pox). "How's the baby?" someone or another at work usually asked. There was always something going on with him. It was nice they showed their interest and concern. "Baruch Hashem, he has chicken pox." "Oh no chicken pox!" "Actually, he's at a good age to have it - not so young that he's bound to get it again, not so old that being home for a week will be difficult-he's home anyway."
It's true, what I said. It is a relatively good time to get it - I am glad he isn't in day care now, and I do hope he will be immune later when it would be more difficult, both for him and for me. But the real reason I was so pleased about the whole business, is that chicken pox is normal, and he has a normal regular plain case of a normal regular childhood illness. There is no, "Well, usually XYZ, but with kids with Down Syndrome…." I did nothing different than I did with my other kids when they had chicken pox. Ok, I called to cancel his slot at the hydrotherapy pool this morning, I called to cancel his visit to the therapy room at Yad Sarah tomorrow morning, I called Shalva to cancel my slot at 'Me and My Mommy', I called the volunteer who was supposed to come this afternoon to make sure she has had chicken pox, I called the speech therapist to tell her to call before she comes tomorrow to see if he is up to it, I called the occupational therapist to tell her not to come this week because she has an infant at home, I called to cancel the appointment with the naturopath who was helping me get rid of the fluid in his ears, and I thought about calling the physical therapist but decided to wait and see how he's feeling later in the week when she is supposed to treat him. But, in the end, chicken pox is normal, and it was a welcome change.
This article first appeared in issue #12 of Down Syndrome Amongst Us