When I was about 8 years old I had the chicken pox. I don’t remember much about it except being in the bath tub and crying. Loudly. I also remember that it was winter-time. My father took my brother and sister off somewhere for the weekend and my mother and I hunkered down to wait it out. Before they left, my father and brother hauled in wood for the wood stove. They hauled in enough wood to last for days. It was more wood than I’d ever seen in the house. I know I was really sick, that my fever was very high, and that my mother was there to take care of me.
This weekend, my husband and my son went skiing. It was just me – and my sick little girl here in the house. Don’t worry. She’s fine. And she doesn’t have the chicken pox. She came home from school with a fever of 103 on Wednesday afternoon and she’s been a permanent fixture on the couch since then. Like her mother, she is given to dramatically high fevers (when she has them) and very late last night I found her sizzling away in her sleep, back up over 103 again. I could see her red cheeks even by the glow of the night light. If you’re a parent – you know just what that hottness feels like – on the back of your hand – or on your own cheek or lips – touched to theirs. She woke up and chatted with me in an excited and glittery way. I gave her two Advil and a glass of juice. I can remember feeling exactly that way – just a little bit, well, drunk, or something. She spoke quickly of many things, and told me, “I feel kind of crazy right now”. I smiled. I was totally calm. I’ve been here before.
I spent a lot of time over this weekend thinking about that other weekend. Then I was the little girl – now I’m the mom. It all seemed very familiar. And even though she was sick – we had kind of a nice weekend. We ate whenever we wanted to and had frozen yogurt (special delivery from my mother). She watched a lot of movies.
I wonder. Do you think that she will remember this weekend? Will she remember a fevered chat at three in the morning? Maybe it will all come back to her some night when she’s sitting with her own little girl, sipping juice and feeling a little crazy – late, late in the night.
I worked on a project over the weekend while the girl was on the couch. I’ll show it to you, soon! See you Wednesday?