Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wake Up Call
I don't get sick. Not really. Not with fevers and swollen glands and stomach upsets. Daily, I take the temperatures of glassy-eyed preschoolers and call their parents to come pick them up. Weekly, I slip my arms beneath someone's armpits and hustle them to the bathroom, hoping to make it at least to the linoleum before their heaving stomachs erupt. I watch for green runny noses and listen for croupy coughs. It's not really in my job description, but I'm a mother and I work in a school with kids aged 3-9 and I see them every day.
I am not afraid of germs and don't squirt Purell into my hands nearly as often as most of my co-workers. I don't disinfect my phone or keyboard daily or even weekly. I wash my hands after going to the bathroom, before eating lunch and after wiping some kids boogery nose, but I don't have the cracked, dry skin of an obsessive clean-freak. And I don't get most of what the kids share with me every day.
I might get a dry patch in my throat from time to time. I get headaches from working on the keyboard too long, but I don't spend my winters sniffling and sneezing.
So when I went to bed Tuesday night with a scratchy throat and a tingling in my left ear I was surprised, but I figured it was time. I was due for a little cold, I suppose.
It wasn't until Deb checked in on me to say I'd been absent from my blog and hers for too long that I began to wonder.
It wasn't until I stepped on a small shard of broken glass in my own kitchen and walked around with it embedded in the bottom of my heel without noticing anything beyond a small, pesky niggling that I began to really wonder.
Two days ago I broke a mixing bowl in my sink. It was part of a set that I bought at Target when I got my very first apartment nearly 20 years ago. Three glass mixing bowls of graduated sizes, cheap and functional. By now, they're scratched up and well-worn, but perfectly usable. I set the largest one down in the sink to rinse it out and it shattered. I was surprised but not upset. I quietly cleaned it up, reaching my fingers gingerly down into the garbage disposal to get all of the pieces.
Yesterday morning I broke a glass coffee cup I've had for fifteen years as I set it on the counter to make Eve a cup of tea. It shattered into pieces just from the small impact of being set on the counter. Two in two days? And now a cold?
While I was walking around with the piece of glass in my heel I was packing Lola's lunch and making Eve some hot chocolate. I was quizzing Lola on her spelling words and planning my day of errands. When I stopped to take a breath before moving on to the next task, I realized every step I took was pushing the irritant farther into my foot. Despite that, it wasn't until the girls were safely in their carpool and the dog and cats were fed that I sat down to remove the piece of glass.
I'm thinking I need to start paying a little more attention to me. I've pushed the snooze button a few too many times and the alarm clock is getting annoyed.