We are a house with three infections, two sinus and one ear. There is lots of coughing, many, many sneezes, and occasional weeping. David cowers in the corners, shielding himself from the infestation of germs blowing toward him across the waves of humidified air.

Quinn has slept most of the day. She’s still feverish. It’s hard to see your child, cheeks flushed cherry-red, eyes all wet and frantic-looking, asking you to turn off the “yight” because she wants to go back to sleep.

My mom stopped by, bearing fruit popsicles and extra tissues. She called me from our local grocery store, saying she was just in the area (she lives a half-hour away), wondering if we needed anything. I love my mother. I love her even more when I can answer the door at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, still in pajamas and glasses and she doesn’t even blink, because she’s known me since I was all in-utero and whatnot, and what’s seeing your daughter in a pair of bright blue pajama pants with drawings of margaritas splashed all over them when you’ve first-handedly endured that person’s teenage years?

David is in Philly, doing some male bonding at a friend’s house tonight. He didn’t want to go–worried I was too incapacitated by the Viral Germ Warfare of 2012, but what was he going to do here? Watch me hack and cough all over the TV remote? Throw a box of tissues at me from the discomfort of his HazMat suit? No, way, I said, especially if you bring home food for dinner so I don’t have to do a blessed thing except stick a slice of pizza in front of the wee ones.

So, off he went, kissing the air around my head before he left. And off I sit, with tissues, still in pajamas. I hear Quinn coughing upstairs.

Tomorrow’s a new day. Tomorrow, Quinn will want to eat breakfast, and Saoirse will not be sniffling, and David will not smell like Purell. Tomorrow, I think, I will wear pants.


  1. serialswooper | 4th Feb 12

    We’re all sick here, too. Is it wrong that I want them all healthy for the Superbowl but couldn’t care less about school?

    • Leah Ferguson | 9th Feb 12

      Nope. I get it. At this age I worry less about school than I do about what we have planned to do after school. And I was a teacher! Don’t tell anybody…

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