It starts, usually, with a sniffle, a flush of the cheeks, a sore throat. It’s winter, or cold spring, and my son is getting ill again. For a while we ward it off, repeating our well-worn platitudes like spells: “It’ll go away soon,” “It’s just a cold,” “You really are growing out of it.” But year after year the fates tease us; snuffles turn to coughs and the coughs fill our flat; hard, rasping and dry, with indrawn breath like wind over gravel, coming every 20 seconds, or is it ten? My son is admirably resigned, but I live from…
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