I rarely used to get sick. I had a great immune system and I knew how to use it! Maybe once a year or so I would get a cold, but nothing major. Considering I'm around multiple people, all week long, who work closely with children it was quite a remarkable feat.
I drink a lot of water which I'm told is probably one of the reasons I was so healthy. There was always a large bottle of water close at hand and I refilled it constantly. My system was flushed continuously. Ain't no bugs gonna get me down!
Then, one glorious day, a friend gave me a gift. It was a blue, 52 ounce travel mug called Bubba Keg. This was my new best friend. Bubba went everywhere with me. To the office, to work on horses, rescues, disasters. Bubba stood vigil on the night stand in case I awoke thirsty in the night. Bubba would wait for me on a shelf or a bumper. Sometimes Bubba could be found sitting in a tree or behind a cage. Wherever I put Bubba, Bubba stayed. I could always count on Bubba to have a big cold drink of water for me when I needed it. I was in love.
My son began sneaking drinks from Bubba when I wasn't looking. Sharing his little boy germs with me. I began getting sniffles more often and they coincided with my son having suspiciously similar sniffles. When he got sick, I did too.
Years later my daughter and her toddler germs came along and Bubba became a giant sippy cup for her. She is adorable and sick fairly often because, well, she's a toddler and who knows why they try to eat the things they do.
Now I have my son and daughter both drinking from Bubba, sharing their germs back and forth and slipping them to me. When one gets sick, the other is sick within a day or two and I, an innocent bystander, will inevitably be next in line for sniffling, sneezing and hacking.
I cannot break them of drinking from my Bubba. I have tried. I bought a miniature Bubba Keg for my daughter so she could be just like Mommy. I bought the biggest Bubba Keg I could find for my son so he could have his very own best friend ready to quench his insatiable thirst.
Guess what? Both of their Bubbas are in the kitchen cabinet ... somewhere. Shuffled to the back because they never get used. My children drink from mine. I am doomed to a life of Bubba sharing.
As I write this, I am sniffling and hacking, coming ever closer to being over the latest illness wrought upon me by my beloved offspring. I have gone through more boxes of tissue in the last week than I will admit too. I'm like a tissue junkie. Hiding them from the sight of others. Stuffing my pockets every chance I get. Shoving them to the bottom of my purse "just in case I need one." Blowing my nose in private so I don't disgust anyone with my grotesque habit.
My children have made me into this weakened shadow of my former self. This is my life now and because I love my children I will accept it.
However ... when my children are grown and living their lives in their own lovely homes, I will visit them when I am sick. I will drink from their cups. I will smile when they ask why and answer, very simply, "Because yours is better." **sniffle**