I am still getting the hang of this mother’s intuition thing. I can look at my son for a few seconds and just “know” something isn’t right. It isn’t a ‘visual’ thing and it always leaves me feeling like the hypochondriac mom who just likes drama in her life. The last few times it has happened I have been right on target and very glad to have taken him into Kaiser.
Thursday morning Sebastian seemed just a little bit off. I coldn’t pin point what it was and chalked it up to a poor night’s sleep. There was pile driving the night before, really, I am serious, and the clang clang of a Giger – LovecraftianÂ machine building a bridge in our town. The pile drive at night so they do not stop the CalTrain during the day.
I am at the office on Thursday and I get this little tickle in the back of my neck. I can’t explain it – I just know I have to go get my son. When I get him home I change his clothes and VOILA little red bumps all over his body. I check his temperature: 101.
I take him into Kaiser and it is not the chicken pops. It is some sort of crazy virus and our doctor had already seen 6 like cases that day. She called it a ‘benign’ virus as it only brings fever and mild discomfort – in fact it is an immune-system building sickness and not to worry. It is highly contagious and we might want to stay away from kids the next 3 days.
We had tons of plans. Crap. Disinvite everyone – stop everything. Started to feel a wee bit bummed… then we remembered of course the dang book we are writing. We got excited.
We decide to make the 2nd weekend of every September “Family Quarantine Weekend” We get some movies, order a turkey and all the trimmings from Safeway delivery, and hunker down for a lovely weekend. (With a very grumpy child) ((not my husband.. the baby!))
One of my candidates has an event I am supposed to attend. I warn everyone ahead of time that I can not touch there kids while i am there. My doctor says the chance of me passing it along to adults is extremely small- yet I refuse to hug everyone. I walk around with a vessel of that germ killing alchol gel stuff and religiously slather my hands with it. (just in case I forget and shake someone hand. I did. it is very hard to not be a touchy feely person when in fact you are a touchy feely person)
It was a successful day for the blue team. The progressive movement has a candidate who has the experience and can rallly the troups. I watched an entire room ignite into a festive community because one person risked convention to do something different. To be himself. The him he was before he was a professional. The him he was before kids. Before politics.
It was cool.
I rush home to find my red-bumped bumpkin sleeping peacefully in a puppy dog suit. his hat with ears flopped over his face leaving him looking like an angel.
Fast forward a decade or so and that little puppy will be rolling his eyes as he tells his friends, “Yeah.. I gotta stay home this weekend. I got some silly rash when I rash when I was a kid and my dorky parents had to make a national holiday out of it. Ugh.”
Naysaying. I am sure there were people in the room yesterday who would have preferred the candidate stick to convention. Give me the dry boring talk.. talk to me about sidewalks and buses and let me get on with my day. As I looked around, I say people smiling at each other.. doing some toe tapping. I still see folks shy away from the weird. Look around the room to make sure everyone else thinks it is okay before enjoying what is happening. A woman stopped me in the restroom and told me how amazing my hair was. (I have no fancy cut- just bright red hair.)
Alas, I think of the White House Correspondents dinner. Have you seen it?
It is a must. Watch the audience. At first folks are having fun- then the little p president starts looking miffed.. slowly the crowd turns into this VERY uncomfortable room. So much in fact it is uncomfortable to watch it AND SO FANTASTIC!
Red Bumps and blue states? This experience indicates to me that risk, discomfort and the sure to follow judgment are the precursors to strength and true change: in our world and with my son’s immune system.
Careful. My sickness is contagious.