From second through fifth grade, I mastered the art of being sick. I got out of school, soccer practice and piano lessons so that I could be the child I wanted to be — not sick, but loved, cared for. Here was my recipe: 1. Wake up. 2. Feel anxious about the day to come (this was natural). 3. Let the anxiety morph into a sickly pallor. 4. Bolster suspected illness with refusal to eat ...

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