My father tells me after my recent bout of illness that if sickness keeps coming into my house I need to do something about my kid’s diet. I don’t know what he is talking about, so I ask him. He means about me not eating meat. I tell him I cook meat for my kids every day. He doesn’t explain. I don’t know. My father sees me as deficient in every way, I think.
The newspaper last week says children get eleven colds a year. I know my younger kids get a little less than that, and my ASD child might be that or more. I have three kids in two different child-saturated environments. The first year that we left they were sick a great deal, having never been exposed. When we moved to a new area, it was the same. They had never had the local ills. That is what the pediatrician told me.
My father has always thought they were sick too much. Not behaved well enough. I get strep, he tells me their diet is the issue. The boys get diagnosis, he tells me they are normal after years of complaining about them. Because it was supposed to be my fault. Not their genes.
I don’t know why I try to please him. He cannot be pleased. Not by me.