Rain is pouring down. This rain is the soothing kind, the constant steady patter of rain drops, splashing against the gutters, that lulls you to stay curled under the covers to listen, and think about how grateful the earth must be for this downpour. I have a sick child today, with one less child running out the door to school, the breakfast table was exceedingly peaceful, and there were no bathroom fights with boys, each one trying to be the very last one to brush his teeth. There was one less lunch to pack, and one less stack of homework papers to sign.
And he’s so compliant. They’re all that way when they’re sick. I made him toast and a bit of broth, and he gratefully accepted those provisions, without a fuss. His little brother, the pm kindergartner, is up in his room entertaining him with the sounds of the Beatles. “Here Comes the Sun” is ironically drifting down the stairs. This is what motherhood is all about; the way it’s supposed to be, isn’t it? The house is dark, although it is 9 in the morning. Even with the music, the halls seems errily quiet. The kindergartner, wearing footie PJs. has just peeked his head out of the bedroom door, “Mom, I really am sick too. I shouldn’t go to school today either.”
- “You don’t have a fever.”
- “I know… but everyone kept touching my poison ivy spot… yesterday, so I shouldn’t go.’
- “You mean that scratch on your forehead?”
Things are peaceful. And maybe a little too quiet. Upstairs the CD player is still playing, but there are no boys up here. I call their names, and hear no answers. I check the TV room to make sure they aren’t trying to break the no screens rule for sick days. But the room is empty. But where are the boys? I check the TV room again…too quiet. The TV is off, yet the light is blinking… it was just turned off. I hear giggles. And there they are, in the bathroom behind the shower curtain, hiding from me.