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Feverish.

Scarlet always gets sick at the most inconvenient times.

I really shouldn’t say that, because she very rarely gets sick. It was just that those 2-3 times she’s ever been sick have been during inconvenient times. The first, was just a few days shy of her first birthday. She had a burning fever of 104 for two days and no other symptoms. After the two days, her very first two teeth came through. Coincidence? Doctors think so but I think not. It was a teething fever! We were supposed to go to the Poconos to stay at a rented cabin on the lake with my family. I had paid for that cabin. We obviously never made it and the whole debacle was forgotten days later when she needed stitches from a dogbite on the eve of her first birthday. It was extremely uncool.

The second time she got sick, well, this was the sickest she’s been to date. It was during my little sister’s wedding rehearsal, dinner and wedding weekend. It was just a nasty, nasty virus but to rule out worse things in such a young child, we had to subject her and ourselves to horrid things – breathing testing machines, chest x-rays, and more. She was so sick on the night of the rehearsal dinner that I had to turn around on the Merritt Parkway where I had been hoping to take directly to Jersey to surprise my bride sister who wasn’t expecting me. Cassidy was home with Scarlet and she turned a bad corner and needed to go to the doctor immediately. It was all such a nightmare and a blur that I don’t remember treatment, if any, or much else. She slowly got better. The hotel was very understanding and credited us one night of the two nights we had booked. We drove to the wedding on the morning of the wedding. She still had a fever but was definitely on the up and up. She was the most delicious flower girl ever and the whole debacle was forgotten within hours. Still, it was extremely uncool.

The third time she got sick wasn’t necessarily an inconvenient time, but it was an inconvenient occurrence when she vomited all over my shirt, my hair, her shirt, her hair and the kitchen floor. Oh, and the living room rug. We had plans the following day to go to a BBQ at Cassidy’s co-worker’s house and we really did want to go, and we did go, because Scarlet burns through 24 hour bugs in 23 hours and 59 seconds. She’s amazingly resilient. She bounces back way before I’m emotionally over it.

Scarlet getting sick happens so rarely that I spend most of my life forgetting that kids get sick.

Today we started our day at a library group and a birthday party. We came home for lunch, which she didn’t eat, and then went shopping at two grocery stores. I noticed her getting crankier and warmer to the touch as the day went on but I just thought it was the heat. Sure she was burning up when I transferred her sleeping body from the car to the bed but I just turned on the A/C and hoped it would cool her body over her bed. She woke up two hours later, much crankier and much hotter. I admit I was scared. She never gets sick! Do I even remember the protocol? And of course, I was selfishly thinking that I certainly can’t get sick while this far along!? What if the stress puts me in labor? What if…?? I don’t even know.

All she wanted was to cuddle with me. That’s it. I thought, “Hey I can do this.” We settled against each other. I put on “Sesame Street.” It was the time of day when the sun shines on the couch and I get heated and woozy. She was heated and woozy. We were skin to skin and her feverish heat burned me up. We didn’t speak for hours. The only sound was our breathing. And Elmo and Big Bird and Ernie and Gang. It was kinda..amazing. She needed one thing from me and I could easily provide it. We were so close together and I wouldn’t dare leave her side. So I didn’t. I focused on her deep, even breathing.

– I had taped a Caillou marathon.

– Cassidy didn’t have to work late.

– She has nowhere to be..for a good long while.

– The baby isn’t due for three more weeks.

There are no good times for kids to get sick, but since it has to happen and is a fact of life…My Dear Summer Virus or whatever the heck you are, your timing was impeccable. For once.

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