I’ve been sitting at my computer staring at the dreaded Blank Page for the past week or so. Being the de facto parent of a 2-½ -year-old has been especially real lately. When it’s this real, I’m hyper-aware that being a parenting grandparent is nothing like being a grandparent in a love relationship which carries certain luxuries. You know, like appreciating that you can hug, kiss, read, dance, and sing, but you don’t have the responsibility of sculpting an emotionally resilient, morally upright, educated, and competent human.
The Swine Flu Virus
Image and information available at: http://www.cdc.gov/H1n1flu/
Last week Joanna Leigh had an appointment to get the first phase of the H1N1 flu shot. Like jillions of people, I had been waiting and worrying, anxious to get her inoculated, as she is for the regular seasonal flu. I picked her up at her pre-school early and headed for the doctor’s office. It was raining. A parking place was some distance from the entrance. I stopped. Looked at the distance. Looked for the umbrella. Looked for the diaper bag. Looked for her snack. Looked at her. Looked at myself.
I said to myself, “Ok, self, get your 66-year-old self in gear and get going. No one else is going to do it.”
I got her and all the stuff and started running for the entrance. Chronic back trouble aside, I’ll stop here to be grateful my knees still work.
The entrance seemed to be miles and miles away, as in a dream, when you’re running and running and getting nowhere.
Finally we were in. We headed to the waiting room with all the other kids, several of them looking feverish and sick, where you worry about all the germs on the chairs, toys, tables, everything.
The nurse called for Joanna Leigh. Relief set in. They weighed her. She’s still a pipsqueak at 25 pounds, in the 10th percentile, but compact and healthy. She opened the computer to record everything. She looked up at me with a weird look.
“We are out of vaccine.”
“What?” I said, mouth hanging open. “You’re kidding, right?”
“I am so sorry. We ran out 15 minutes ago. There’s no more in the building, because pediatrics was the last section to have it.”
We left. I was nearly in tears. It would be another two-plus weeks before University Medical Center would get replenished. I called my husband. He said we could all go out for supper.
On the way, I spotted the Doc-in-a-Box where I had walked in for my seasonal flu shot. “Pull in there,” I said. I ran in. They didn’t have any. We went on to supper. Afterwards, on the way home a different route, there it was – another Doc-in-a-Box I had forgotten was there in that spot. “Pull in there,” I said.
I ran in. Yes! They had it. I motioned for my husband to get Joanna Leigh and bring her in. It was moments before closing, and there was literally no one else waiting. Bingo, the elixir spray up her nose.
“We did it!” I said back in the car.
“We did it!” Joanna Leigh repeated, clapping. She sang her version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” all the way home.
I was exhausted from all that real stuff. The next few posts will deal with all that real stuff.