I have never been more thankful that I gave up teaching than I am today. If I were a teacher, I would not be heading to work. Instead, I would be living the life fantastic — cleaning and cooking and preparing for Thursday’s big bash at my leisure. Lucky me! I get to go to work. (I am not being sarcastic.)
At the end of school last year, I took the big plunge — quitting my teaching job before I had another job. It was a tad bit scary — embracing unemployment and joining the job-seeking minions — but it ended happily for me. I started my new job in June and loved it immediately — never more than at this moment — and not just because the school zones were inactivated this morning. I love it because, for today, my job is an escape.
Over the weekend, the plague entered my house. Saturday evening, my son became ill. Quite suddenly. Cough, hoarse throat, fever, chills, lack of appetite, vomiting, insomnia, severe headache. Sunday, the vomiting continued; his headache left but dizziness took its place. I was the ever-concerned mama, often huddled at his bedside, willing him to sleep, dumping and washing trash cans of vomit, offering timely beverages and crackers and tissue boxes and blankets and pillows, spraying Lysol when he left a room (behind his back because I didn’t want to offend), and opening windows to the unseasonably warm but fresh air. And repeatedly washing my hands.
When my husband returned from work he had his own symptoms of illness — a severe head cold with a vicious cough.
Since Saturday night had been a rough night for both my son and me, I was looking forward to a little catch-up last night. My son’s cough awakened me once in the night, but my short visit to his bedroom to check on him did not have to be repeated. The misery of the night before had passed. He slept; I mostly slept, except for my husband’s violent coughing episodes that jiggled the bed and assaulted my ears. It was rough for me, rougher for him, and I wanted sleep — and nothing more to do with illness. I certainly didn’t want to catch whatever bug was lurking in the man beside me or in the young man in the bedroom down the hall. These two weren’t putting a positive spin on it.
At some point during my husband’s coughing gymnastics when I was bounced awake yet again, he told me I would have to stay home from work today to care for him and Adam. He was kidding. I did clarify that before happily bounding from the house, bags in hand, glad to be leaving with my health intact, and thrilled to head to that escape called work.
Which I could not have done had I still been teaching. Funny to be thankful not to have an extended Thanksgiving break…