The flu hit Jackson right as he was getting ready for 3 nights in New York with his classmates for Montessori Model United Nations. Jackson went last year and was as invigorated by the MMUN committee meetings as spending time with friends traveling to, from and around the city.
As a cold and cough turned to a fever, we realized that he’d be missing out this year and my focus turned to trying to cheer him up. And while he did his best to beat the flu (or at least try to convince his parents he did by placing the thermometer next to a cold window so he could ), he settled in for 3 days of sleep, Sprite and Lord of the Rings movies.
During the week, I was able to gauge how he was really feeling by his response to birding questions. We discussed our upcoming birding vacation to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida; we discussed birding camps in Seattle and Maine; and we talked bout applying to a class at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. When I asked him if he wanted to drive to the Glades to look for Purple Sandpipers, and I finally got a “maybe tomorrow” I knew he was on the mend. I told him he could use what we would have spent for MMUN for birding weekends and he began planning for Spring trips to Cape May and Central Park (and Colorado for the Pink Footed Goose). So, just maybe, the disappointment of missing MMUN will result in a few more birds for his Big Year.