* Good Medicine

I got two phone calls from Rio's school today. The first was from the school nurse, asking about his rash. School policy says kids with an undiagnosed rash can't go to school. She was pleasant, trying to reassure me, saying it was probably just hives, nothing contagious. But he still had to get a doctor's note before he could return to school.

That, I can live with. Relieved that it wasn't the principal, I was already looking forward to having the rest of the afternoon off. I got the call right before lunch, so it was a nice even half day. And I was able to get Rio an appointment this afternoon at 2:00. That's pretty good for short notice at the health clinic.

I left my office and hiked the 8 blocks to Rio's school, where I also keep my car. On the way, I got the second phone call. This one was the school counselor wanting to 'touch bases with me.' She was also pleasant, and said I could keep her book as long as I needed it. She wanted to be able to contact Rio's other counselor, and asked me to sign a release form. No problem. I laughed out loud when I got off the phone, for all my dread of interaction with the school administration, this time was entirely painless. Relief, gratitude, laughter: good medicine.

The doctor looked Rio over and told me he had some sort of contact rash or something. I really just understood "not contagious" and "he can go back to school tomorrow." More good news, no worries.

Back at home, I decided to tackle a long-awaited project: the train set. It's upstairs where the Kids sleep when they're here, and it's been waiting for Pa or I to nail down the tracks into the table. Since we'd be watching the Kids tonight, I figured it was a good time to get it done and give them something new for their amusement.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I cussed and cursed and sent Rio downstairs at least three times for trying to run the train on the track I was in the midst of building. He finally occupied himself by searching the yard for the perfect christmas tree for our train town. He came in with various weeds and branches and insisted that I nail them to the table around the tracks. I convinced him to let me finish the track before I added the landscape accoutrements.

Later, the Kids arrived with the usual clamor. After some dinner, a bath, and a movie, their night has been pretty full. Only my stepdaughter (the only girl, other 5 are all boys) showed much interest in the train after all, but it will still be here when they come again this weekend. Right now it can't compete with Harry Potter.

Rio went to bed earlier than the rest. Late nights and early mornings make for a cranky Rio, and cranky pirates don't get a lot of smiley faces at school. Tomorrow, it's another day, another labor of love.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

FIVE boys! (and one girl, of course) my admiration for you is boundless. but it was, already, anyhow. :-)

12/09/2004 12:14 PM  

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