It is Samuel’s fault, really. He fell ill. And then continued to be sick for days and days and days.
He was the last one standing of the pack. And then his immune system toppled. Hard. It was almost too much for me to take.
I stopped using under eye concealer. The world should see how tired I was.
Half sipped caffeinated teas were scattered atop tabletops throughout my house. I obsessively washed my hands. No matter what I did, in the course of five days, three kids became sick.
Maybe I don’t use strong enough cleaning chemicals? I wracked my brain at night while pacing, soothing my crying baby.
I blame all those kids incessantly coughing at my daughters’ school. At drop-off the other morning, their classroom sounded like an intermission at the symphony. Deep coughs. Nursing home, emphysema coughs. “Why aren’t these kids at home?” kind of coughs.
I learned that a few parents took their kids to pediatrician only to be told their kids were fine. Other kids were finishing antibiotics. There was a lot of shoulder shrugging and use of placating statements like: “It’s just that time of year.”
Our little family was ripe for the picking.
It’s a tsunami of germs descending against one woman. Like Moses holding a staff of Purell, I declare: “Please don’t put that croissant in your mouth unless you use hannitizer!” That’s what we call it. Hannitizer.
It was Friday, the very last day of school before a week-long stretch of kids’ vacation. Here is a list of some things I was saying to myself in my thought:
a) “I am going skiing in a few days and look like a sexy ski bunny with smoky eyes while carving beautiful edged turns!”
c) “I am to sip bourbon with my husband by the fire, at night. And gaze lovingly at his beard.”
d) “I am going to make snowmen with my kids in the front yard of my in-laws ski house. And the girls will not fight about who has found bigger snow chunks.”
Picture perfect. Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta!
Even though…last year’s ski trip, I forgot my bathing suit, having to instead, don my mother in law’s miracle suit into the hot tub. And last year, I passed-out cold with my kids each night. And although throughout last year’s entire ski trip, I smelled like an octogenarian from applying Bengay morning, noon and night, to my aching muscles, this year’s trip would be different!
However, reality was setting in as germs seeped their way into my house…
Long, yellow snot rockets shot from my eldest daughter’s nose like Spider-man’s webs attaching to walls. Low-grade fevers were crept across both my daughters’ bodies. Sweaty pajamas and princess pillowcases piled-up in the laundry room each morning.
We didn’t use our miles to buy tickets last minute. We didn’t dig out our suitcases. We let inertia take over, and for the first time ever, we declared for ourselves a “stay-cation.” (This was our way of coping with the harsh reality that we were using vacation days to run a family infirmary.)