Down For The Count (and I’m Drownin’ in ‘Em)

Slice 25

Two covid tests in two weeks. My kids. Well, the younger two. I’ve been careful, or at least lucky, enough to come out of this thing unscathed. Not even having to experience the test. Thankfully, it seems, as I hear my 9 year old daughter talk about her rapid test today. “So far up my nose my eyes went crossed!” 

My son had one a couple weeks ago when he wasn’t feeling well. This, of course, causes a chain reaction and no one can go to school and protocols must be followed, mental contact-tracing lists checked. We knew where he got his stomach bug, and, that it was a stomach bug.

But she seemed Covid-ish and it was scary for me because, just like at the beginning of this whole thing when their mom got it, they were quarantined away from me. I can’t think of any feeling I fear more than helplessness. I learned that the hard way over time. Drowning and on fire all at once. Especially when it comes to my people. I like to fix things. Or at least to help. 

I got the text today that her mom’s car wouldn’t start and her test was scheduled for 15 minutes away at 11:15. Our floating sub was already someone. I realized in retrospect that I am vaccinated so probably didn’t have to worry but a flash of scary ran across my eyes as I quickly banged out a lower-case email to the boss explaining that I may have to leave if possible to get her there due to the fact that they may not let me back into the building without a hazmat suit after taking her. But needing to help superseded that fear in real time. All of this I handled mentally while teaching my biggest class of the day both in person and online. 

Logistically it was impossible for me to leave on such short notice, and it’s understandable but very frustrating that I even had to think about how they’d enter a midday “absence” in the system where I basically just miss lunch/recess and a portion of a science lesson. Thankfully their aunt was able to come cover so she could get her test and we found out right away that she was negative. Phew. It would have been just like this year to have that be our spring break. 

She was adorable, though. Soon as she got word the test was negative she was “better.” Fever is gone and throat is now bearable, but there is a trace of cough. Funny, though, how kids process. She was sick until the doc said no covid. Then poof – picture of health. 

All without superdad being able to do anything. So it goes. The lengths we go, in our cars and in our hearts, are endless, and the lengths we would subject ourselves to, infinite. And sometimes those lengths are cul-de-sac circuitous despite the miles accrued because helplessness abounds. In the end it doesn’t matter who the hero is, or if there gets to be one at all. Everyone is ok so we can go back to whatever this normal decides to be tomorrow.

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