Time stands still for me whenever the school calls: I’m sure I barely breathe…. I’m waiting to hear every word drop from her mouth before the blood starts pumping back through my brain again. While waiting for the nurse to speak, the blood has been pooled up around my heart, as I wait for her to finish the sentence. I immediately want to know:
- Which child?
- Is he alive?
- Is it life-threatening?
- Where can I go get him?
This time the call had another element of strife: I was three time zones away. The call came at 1:55, hometown time; 10:55, just after breakfast, vacation time. About an hour and a half left in the school day, on a Thursday. This time, it was the kindergartner — no not H1N1. This was, they think, fifth disease. Nothing serious, but “he’s not well enough to stay at school,” the nurse says.
Back to the plan: The after-school care that day just happened to be a family friend. Not, thankfully, a playdate, where he would be exposing another Mom’s kids to the virus. I called our friend’s number, and she said, in her cheeriest tone, “Hi! I just showed up at your house! I’m setting out the craft supplies.”
OK, now that was enough, right there, to make me fell in love with her all over again.
“Well, I have a sick one at the school…”
Before I even had to explain a thing, she said, “I’ll go there right now and get him.”
Now, I can take my breath. A friend, someone he knows and trusts, is AVAILABLE, and is picking him up from school. She was there for all the hugs, kisses and everything else I couldn’t do from where I am. Once the Motrin kicked in, they were able to fill my kitchen with this:
My brother had nothing but conference calls the next day; so, bless him; he took the day off work Friday and stayed home with the little guy.
In grateful, close-call, can-you- believe-the-luck-of-it-times, all you can do is wonder if people above are sprinkling fairy dust down on their grandchildren to make everything OK.
And I am thinking, it’s going to be a really, really, long time before I can ask my brother for another get away again.