Well. First of all, we have been sick. I don't know if it's something Jack picked up in Charleston and gave to the rest of us, or if it started a week ago Sunday, when Will had a fever for a couple of days. In any event, this past Sunday, the day after we got back from Charleston, Jack got a fever and an upset stomach and went down for the count.
I hoped against hope that I wouldn't get it, but by Monday night, I knew I was hit. Fever, achiness, that sort of thing. Yesterday, the Man admitted to feeling a little off, but not sick--never sick!
Jack and I were supposed to go to Greensboro today for the Battle of the Books competition. When Jack got sick Sunday, I emailed the BOB team leader, Our Fine Middle School's friendly librarian, and said Jack might not be there, and I might not, either, so she might want to look for a substitute adult to go to the competition with her.
Long story short: I emailed Our Fine Librarian several times to keep her updated on our situation. Her reply emails were curt, but that was to be expected--she gets very stressed out around BOB competition time.
Late yesterday afternoon, Jack started to feel a bit better, and by 10 he said he felt just fine. He really wanted to go the competition, so I emailed Our Fine Librarian to say Jack would be there, and were there any special instructions?
It was late, and my hope was that she'd email back first thing this morning, but she didn't. I texted her around 7:30 to let her know that Jack was definitely coming, and I definitely was not. The truth is, Dear Reader, I feel lousy. I have a fever. I probably shouldn't even be writing this, except that I need to get it out of my system.
I dropped Jack off at school ten minutes early, 7:50, in case the BOB team was leaving early for the battle. Jack called me twenty minutes later to say he couldn't find Our Fine Librarian or the team; did I think they'd left already?
Sigh. Really? I called Our Fine Librarian's cell, and a woman named Vicki, the parent volunteer who turned out was taking my place, answered. "Oh, Frances!" she exclaimed when I identified myself. "How are you feeling?"
Vicki is sweet, sweet, sweet. I don't really know her, but there are always cupcakes or brownies in one corner or another of Our Fine Middle School because Vicki is always bringing them. And we talked once a couple of years ago, right before her daughter was about to start middle school. Vicki was worried about the transition, and I told her about Jack, and we chatted, and she was lovely.
This did not stop me from yelling at her on the phone when she told me that they had left Our Fine School at 7:30 this morning, although I did apologize profusely to her immediately afterwards. "I'm not angry at you, and I'm sorry you're in the line of fire," I told her. "But I've been volunteering for this club for three years, and I can't believe no one had the courtesy to tell me the bus was leaving at 7:30!"
I was making Vicki nervous, and I was sorry about that. "Didn't you get the letter?" she asked. "It said 7:30 in the letter."
Reader, I cannot honestly say I didn't get the letter. A few weeks ago, Our Fine Librarian handed me a sheet of paper and said, "Here are the directions to Greensboro." I took the sheet of paper, folded it, put it my purse, and promptly lost it. Maybe the letter was with the directions. I don't know.
So, you're wondering what happened after I got off the phone? Well, please keep in mind that I am sick. My brain really isn't functioning all that well. So I got off the phone and let loose a five-minute string of bold profanities. The good thing about rarely using curse words is that they're quite satisfying when you do. Then I screamed at the Man, who took it, well, like a man. And then he offered to pick up Jack at school and drive him to Greensboro.
So Jack made it to the competition, and is there now, probably not contributing all that much, because he's a slack seventh grader who didn't keep up with the reading all that well. I called and left a message on Our Fine Librarian's cell phone to let her know he was on his way. It was a polite message imparted in an extremely impolite tone.
So now here I am, at my kitchen table, really wanting to take a nap, but feeling bad about yelling at Vicki (I emailed her a contrite apology, if you're wondering), and also wondering why I'm so upset. Mostly, I think, it's the fever. Because really, this is a) not that big of a deal; and b) most likely my fault.
Except for this: I feel like I spent a lot of time this week trying to keep Our Fine Librarian posted on our situation. I know she gets stressed, and I definitely wanted her to have a back-up adult in case I couldn't go. But you know what? She never emailed and said, "Don't worry, Vicki's going to come if you can't make it." She never even emailed to say, "Wow, I'm sorry you're sick." And obviously, it would have been nice if she'd emailed or called to say, "In case you've forgotten, if Jack's coming, he needs to be at school at 7:30."
But she didn't. She's stressed. She probably assumed Jack wasn't coming. I shouldn't be mad at her, especially because I've known her for three years and I know she's not thoughtful in that way, though she is thoughtful in other ways.
I don't know why I'm so upset. I think it's just a lot of little things happening at once--nothing bad, but just lots of little stressful things adding up. Driving home from dropping the boys off at school this morning, I thought, 'I have a bad head right now,' and it turns out I was right.
" I Have No Personality!"
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