On Friday the school secretary called me to come grab Mr. G. He had a fever of 102, headache, body aches and a side helping of cough. In a frenzy I whipped together sub plans to cover the rest of my day and drove across the block to grab my baby. (Yes, the block. I drove across the block. I work a stone's throw from where two of my kids attend school and in the same building as the other. We keep it tight around here.)
The kid was suffering all right. I tucked him into my bed and oh how he wailed, thrashed, moaned and cried. Typical male, he was a miserable and complaining sort of patient. It took him two whole days to get near normal, he spiked a fever on and off the entire time. Naturally he passed along his bug to Mr. D and me.
I could feel the edge of sick slicing into my skull when I brought the other boys to Friday night's basketball game. I valiantly slept with Mr. G that night, allowing Mr. D the night off. He tossed and turned and whined all night long. The following evening I'd agreed to accompany a group of high school kids to Milwaukee to see A Christmas Carol and by the opening lines the headache and congestion started. It was a magnificent performance (starring Jonathan Smoots! As Scrooge!). I enjoyed it so much while I struggled to keep my snuffling and nose blowing to a minimum so as not to disturb my fellow patrons of the arts.
By Sunday I was laid flat and by midday, Mr. D was right there with me. We mouth-breathed a cough-fueled duet last night and I hit the medicine cabinet hard before going to work this morning. This explains why, during second hour, I referenced raindrops on kittens in the midst of a hazy explanation about alliteration (I think. I can't be totally sure. I might have been rambling about the foggy, rainy weather). The students exchanged perplexed glances before asking, What are you talking about? "You know, warm woolen mittens and snowflakes on roses ... my favorite things. How does that song go? Or is it snowflakes on kittens?" Ms. W, you seem confused. "I do. I am. It's the drugs talking. It's raindrops on roses and whiskers--that's right! Whiskers on kittens."
And speaking of favorite things, check out the most charming Christmas ornament my friend Molly gave me last week. Don't you LOVE it? Those boots won't actually hang on the Christmas tree, however, because that darn kitten of ours is so naughty and I'd weep if she knocked it down and broke it. I only staged it on that bough for a moment while Rose was shut safely in the basement. They dangle from a hook in my library where I will enjoy them all year long. New boots. Shiny, cunning new Wellies just for me.
Isn't the loveliest kind of gift the perfect, thoughtful and unexpected surprise kind?
Spill it, reader. One favorite thing that someone gifted you out of the blue. I'm off to take a swig of cough syrup.