March has offered the Matron and her family its usual bluster and blow: crisp mornings and cold houses with a hint of heat in the afternoon, tidings of a season to come. This month also introduces the entire state to the Spring Head Cold. This might be a uniquely Minnesotan malady. Mornings? Still below freezing. But by the afternoon the snow melts; there are patches of ground and grass, brown, but visible. The heavy jacket you need before noon is lost in the van after school is out. It's a month of schizophrenia, knowing that the massive 100% reliable end-of-March blizzard is also in store, even as the children beg to leave hats and mittens behind. Forty degrees is a miracle. But the wishy washy weather leaves the body vulnerable to attack. Your immune system isn't sure if it should be celebrating or shoring up for the apocalypse.
Just in time for the Matron's Spring Break -- which does NOT coincide with her children's--the children are sick.
Instead of catching up on all that paperwork and grading, she has spent the morning cuddling with the feverish Merrick. But even his cough is cute. Fever 102 at 10:30 am, which is generally a sign of more woe to come. The maternal body must be awfully sympathetic these days, as it appears to be sharing Merrick's burden with its own sniffles and sore throat. Scarlett? May require hospitalization (her assessment).
Spring Head Cold is a seamless entity -- if not nestled solidly in your own house, he is visiting the neighbor until it is time to cross the street and slip through your window, again.
Spring Head Cold, in honor of your arrival, one of the Matron's favorite poems:
Life with Sick Kids
One child coughs onnce
and is sick for nearly eight weeks, then the other child coughs so
hard he nearly vomits, three weeks, and then
stops and the first child cuoghs a first cough,
and then the other delicately and dryly begins to cough,
death taking them up and shaking them
as kids shake boxes at Christmas. So in bed on the
third day of the blood when it would be
almost safe to use nothing,
just a tiny door left open for a resourceful child,
I cannot see or feel or smell you, I keep
thinking I hear the unconceived one
cough a little introductory cough.