I put away the Childrens' Ibuprofen. And the Children's Tylenol. It is all my fault. that Hannah got sick again.
Every time I put away the purple stuff, within three days someone gets sick. I tell myself it isn't so, that only coincidence could produce this result. But time and time again I scoff in the face of anecdotal evidence and I put away the fever reducing medicines, only to have someone develop a fever in pretty short order. I don't really believe in this kind of magical thinking. My mother does, I know, and I've felt some pull toward it in my life certainly, but of course it makes no sense at all. When I was a much more angsty young woman in my teens and early twenties, driving at night, I would always notice when for some reason streetlights would turn off as I drove under the light they cast. I'd notice the pattern and then be unable to not notice. I'd wonder if my ions were wrongly polarized or fate had a plan. I would think back to when I'd learned that one developmental stage of childhood has a child wonder if she or he is the center of the universe - that they are the only real part and everything else is just a construct. Certainly I was relieved to know I wasn't alone to have had these thoughts as a child, and toasted my good fortune in not being mentally ill or stuck in that phase (I probably toasted with quite a lot of cheap beer). Perhaps I even drunkenly discussed existentialism, even though I hate philosophy. I might have had deep thoughts, or just thought I did. But how is it that now, at forty three and well encumbered with relationships with people that really bring home the concept that real is indeed real, how do I now believe that whenever I put away the Ibuprofen, my kids will need it again? And even if I could make myself sick with my thoughts how am I making my children get strep or viral illness?
I live in a one hundred year old home. Nothing about my kitchen is spacious. My counters do not need piles of things that never go away. OK a knife block, a hodge podge of long handled utensils crammed in a somewhat attractive but mismatched jar. The phone. The pile of baby bottle parts and binkies that will finally go away soon. Hannah's carnitine, and syringes to measure it. My vitamins and supplements, lest I ignore them for months at a time. I don't need medicine for potential use to remain out and at the ready. We don't need it everyday. We possibly need it for five days at a time, longer when the girls split their illnesses up rather than share them. I don't want the bottles to live there. So I hired the most powerful sorceresses I could find to cast a banishment spell with their sparkly pink wands. It better work. I'm keeping the bottles on the counter until next month, though, just in case.
Our First Family Photo
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