Thursday, May 29, 2014

Childhood Reminiscing Session #5: Chicken Pox

When I was little I participated in Joy School and the Clayton Valley High School Preschool.  As everyone knows when you get large groups of children together in small confined spaces, their underdeveloped immune systems tend to be overwhelmed by all the germs, and sickness abounds.  When chicken pox broke out amongst my peers, my poor, little, previously unexposed, four-year-old body didn't stand a chance.
Joy School was scheduled to be at the Lambertson's house that week.  (For those of you who aren't familiar with Joy School, it's basically a group of moms who take turns babysitting all the preschool age kids and planning educational activities for them to participate in each week.)  My mom dropped me off at the Lambertson's home where all of us Joy Schoolers were told that we would be playing outside that day since my friend Sherry was ill with the chicken pox.  As we were playing in the backyard, I looked through the window to see Sherry alone inside, working on a puzzle.  Being the considerate soul that I was, I thought, Sherry shouldn't just be sitting alone in the house while the rest of us kids have fun outside.  This thought would prove to be both kind and dangerous.  I quietly made my way to the house, sneaking behind large plants and trees, and skillfully opened the sliding glass door without making a sound.  I joined Sherry in the family room and we worked on the puzzle together.  I didn't mind the red bumps on her face or that she would itch her skin before handing me a puzzle piece.  This was just a normal day of Joy School for me.  After we finished the puzzle, I got up and went back outside to play with the other kids.

A couple of days later I started to notice angry red marks on my skin that itched and swelled.  My mom said that I had the chicken pox and that I would have to stay home from CVHS Preschool until the spots went away.  While all my siblings went down the street to play with our neighbors I stayed inside, wishing I could go out and play with everyone else.  After what seemed like an eternity (or a week in adult terms), my mom finally ruled my scabbed body fit for outside exposure.  When I got to Preschool that morning, my teachers were waiting there with a hug and a yellow piece of paper which I still have to this day.
It was the first award I remember receiving and, for whatever reason, I felt distinguished amongst my peers, like I had overcome a rite of passage that they had yet to experience.  The feeling was worth the week of misery I went through and I silently thanked Sherry for sharing her illness with me.

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