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 …