Friday, October 10, 2014

Thanks! Thank Flu Very Much

In this little corner of the Internet I've got the freedom to write whatever I like and hope that readers get a chuckle or find it interesting. 

In carrying out this objective, I use pseudonyms and only cherry-picked details so as to not reveal too much of either my life, or the people I'm writing about. 

I'm told that the Internet can be a creepy place and while Blackwell's Mark isn't exactly an international hot spot for world wide web traffic, we've got a core readership (points to his mom and his wife) to whom we are responsible. So, there are some restrictions. 

"Hi, I'm Influenza. You might remember me from some trips
to the toilet as last night's....."
I leave out names and tidbits that might be telling. This is especially so when the details being imparted are not flattering. You don't want to make someone look — or feel — worse by pointing out their faults. 

It can take some effort to provide enough detail to make a story worth telling without burning someone — or burning my bridge to them. 

Well, today is the day I don't have the energy to fire-proof that bridge. 

Which brings me to this question: who thinks it's a good idea to bring a child with stomach flu to a day care?

Answer: at least one parent at our tiny, tiny five-kid day care. 

The scenario is thus: last weekend a little one and then her entire family got really, really sick — vomiting, flu-bug sick. Within a day of last exhibiting symptoms someone, some how, some way, deemed it acceptable to place that little one amongst a group of happy, healthy kids. 

Last night we got the message from our day care provider that she's got the flu. 

Mrs. Blackwell and I love this lady so this is unwelcome news no matter what, but even more so because day care is — rightfully and obviously —closed today. (We're lucky because Mrs. Blackwell's parents are visiting and love looking after the boy but, good luck to the other parents who aren't so lucky and can't find a sitter.) 

And, just a while ago, we learned that two other kids at our day care have the stomach flu. 

This irresponsibility doesn't rise to the level of getting on a trans-Atlantic flight in Liberia while sporting a fever but, nonetheless, it's far from cool. 

Mrs. Blackwell and I are now in a holding pattern, our fingers firmly crossed, hoping and praying that the boy —  and by extension us — somehow managed to avoid this mess. 

If I have to look at it, so do you. 
As it usually is, my reflexive reaction to this was indiscriminate, unfocused anger. But when I stopped to think about it, and then write about it, I began to consider the possibility of an acceptable reason for this.

I couldn't conjure one up. And hours later, I still can't think of one. The best I can do is to allow for the possibility that a satisfactory justification does exist. 
If kids do nothing else, they shine a light on who we parents are as people at any given moment.

The selfish. The vain. The inconsiderate. The stupid or dim-witted. Once a kid is brought into the equation, none of this behavior escapes being exposed for the world to see.

Of course every one of us is all of these things to varying degrees, depending on which day you pass us on the street.

Lord knows there's loads of stuff we regret and would love to take back. And at those times, it's always good to know that people forgive. 

Naturally, that'll be much easier if we dodge this bullet. 

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