We're sick. Each and every one of us in this house is sick, and not in the delicate, dab-tissue-to-nose-and-sniffle kind of way, either: this is lung-hacking, cold-sweating, vomiting on bed sheets plague. If I...
Jasper goes to playschool a couple of days a week. He loves it – loves it – and he knows exactly what days he’s scheduled to go. He toddles down the stairs on those mornings and heads straight for his coat and boots, which he tries to tug on over his pajamas.
SKOO! (School!) he yells. RUSSELL! ELLA! (friends) GO! GO! GO!
Yesterday was a school day. He’d been up throughout the previous night with a cough, and he’d felt a little warm at times the day before, but there are always bugs going around this time of year, and he seemed okay in the morning, and in any case, there he was, clutching his coat and boots and yelling skoo!
I hesitated, for a minute, maybe two. He didn’t feel warm, but he did have a cough, and he had been so, so sick before Christmas… but no, he wanted to go. And I wanted him to go. I had work to do. So I took him to school.
Some hours later, my phone rang, and the voice on the other end was a little panicked. Could I come right away? Jasper wasn’t well, he was hot, really hot, sweating through his clothes, his temperature 105 and climbing, and obviously in pain, and coughing, badly. I dropped what I was doing and ran straight there, not bothering to put on socks or scarf or hat or gloves, not stopping to lock the door, not stopping for anything. I just ran. And as I ran – the very short distance from where I was to where he was – I berated myself a hundred times with every step. I should have kept him home. I shouldn’t have taken him to school. I shouldn’t have let what was convenient and easy trump what was right.