It's been a crazy sort of week, lots of meetings and conferences, a day spent participating in some new-fangled distance learning, where I sat in a studio ten minutes from my house and talked to students all over North Carolina, and another day where I drove to a school across town to stand in the middle of a library and talk some more.
I took Will to the doctor Thursday morning for his cough, which he's had for over at month. At first, it appeared to be the by-product of a cold he had in mid-January, but then it picked up speed a couple of weeks ago and made clear it wasn't going anywhere. Turns out it's bronchitus and maybe a mild sinus infection. And then, Thursday afternoon, he lay down on the couch, saying he didn't feel well, and sure enough, he had a fever of 101. The fever broke last night, and this morning he seems much better, though he's still coughing.
Will is the only one in the family who gets hit with these sudden high fevers (and I suspect his temperature was higher than 101--he's not very good at keeping the thermometer under his tongue), and they really scare me. I slept in his room most of the night on Thursday, just to make sure he was still breathing.
The only good thing about Will being sick is that I don't have to go to Jack's basketball game this morning. It's the end-of-the-season tournament, and Jack's team is seeded last. They're not a bad team, but it's the 9-10 year-old league, and most of the guys on Jack's team are nine and little. They keep playing against big teams, and teams that have been together for two years (which seems so unfair to me, but coaches are allowed to cherry pick their players in this league). Jack is their big guy, and he's never played before. He's getting better with every game, and I'm really pleased with how hard he's trying, but it's not like he's been playing since he was six and has all those years of experience to bring to the team.
Anyway, last Saturday they lost in the last seconds, after being ahead almost the entire game. It was heartbreaking. As we were leaving the stands, I felt such acute pain, and I realized after a moment what I was feeling was grief.
The funny thing is, I don't think Jack cares all that much about winning. He likes to play, he likes being on a team, but he's not that caught up in whether they win or lose. He's a funny kid that way. Will would care. Will would be one of the kids crying after last week's game. Jack seemed unaffected. In some ways, I'm glad, because it makes it easier to take the team's losses. But if he cared more, he'd probably be a stronger player. There you have it.
The next few weeks are going to be broken up and all over the place. I've got conferences and competitions (Battle of the Books--I'm the assistant coach for Our Fine Midde School's team), and then we're off to D.C. for a few days over Spring Break. After that, I'm being sent on a book tour--my new book comes out Tuesday. So far it has gotten two starred reviews and one very unenthusiastic review from Publisher's Weekly. PW is always unenthusiastic about my books, whereas Kirkus always loves them. Go figure. Anyway, I don't usually get sent on tour, and I don't particularly want to, but I'm trying to be a good sport and a happy camper and all that.
We are having a long, hard winter here. Not hard compared to what they're having up north, but hard for us southerners. Mean, bitter winds, wet, snowy dark days. It's hard to believe spring is coming. Maybe it's not coming this year. It's starting to feel that way.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to May 3, when all my travels and workshops and this-es and thats for the spring will be done. I hope I'll survive until then. I've got big plans for the late spring and summer--quilts to make and barbecues to host and mornings to drink coffee and not do too much of anything. This is the dream that keeps me going.
edit: later: The Man and Jack are back from the game. Jack's team won! In the final seconds! Jack scored! Wish I'd seen him score, but am happy I avoided the heart attack I would have had by witnessing a last second win. Go team!
Dirt, milk, communion.
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