Influenza Haze

I can’t shake myself of the haze I woke up in this morning; my physical condition casts a pall over the entire day. The sun seems dimmer until is slips behind the wall of overcast sky, which it does so often in mid-winter Ohio. My entire nervous system feels to be tamped down. I shake my head like a dog whose collar is too tight—like our Sophie who wants your attention but does a full body dog shake following every pet or pat on the head—but the shake doesn’t clear my head. Crazy dog. Crazy me. I’m still fuzzy, capable only of the simplest tasks, like staring out our front window. Which is okay. It’s Sunday. But Daniel Deronda is giving me a sidelong glance from the cover of the book on the arm of my chair. Who is he to judge? Okay, he is the bastard son of a nineteenth century aristocrat….but still! Son of an aristocrat!

So this is where a hazy brain takes me—casting insults at a character on the cover of my book. It’s been a strangely relaxing and strenuous week, more emotionally than physically. G was terribly sick with Influenza 2012-13 an accompanying ear infection for most of the week; Jonah caught it too, though it affected him quite differently. He was feverish, laid on the couch for hours (unheard of!) with a blanket up over his head. He slept mid-morning after the fever went away, and then the fever came back. He had restless nights and flush-cheeked days. He complained about his legs hurting. Said they were sleeping and demonstrated the hunched over way he had to walk to wake them up.

Gabriel continues to proclaim (loudly), “Need a Kweenex!” He has that rheumy look about him. He tells me his eyes are hot. He coughs into a square piece of Tupperware (“Need my coughing bowl!”) because sometimes he coughs so hard his gag reflex gets triggered and who knows what will come up (other than the pints of mucous he must be swallowing). How’s that for graphic? The following still life captures the current state of things. I call it “Stop Motion Still Life” after the title John’s playing around with for his new manuscript.

stop motion still life

We sent Jonah to school Thursday. Maybe shouldn’t have, but he seemed to weather it well and he had an extra long weekend (no school friday) to recover. We’ve been working on independence/separation anxiety, and he usually walks himself to his classroom, but I went down with him this once to help him get reoriented. His classmates rushed to greet him (I winced a little at all the hugging, hoping he wasn’t contagious anymore). And I must show you something I saw during that short trip down to the basement classroom of Canton Montessori Elementary. If you have followed this blog for awhile, you might remember a post I made near the beginning when Jonah finally picked up (and cared) about what coloring means. That was a little over a year ago, and we were thrilled to see him attempt to keep his red and green colors inside the apple outlines.

Well, he’s still not much of a color-in-the-lines sort of guy. For awhile he made these crazy paper sculptures out of recycling and glue. But what I saw in the hallways leading to his classroom was his work as a portrait artist. Granted, his style isn’t particularly neat, but his drawings were—from my biased perspective—the most original. He paid attention to detail. He exaggerated certain traits and minimized others (check out Jimmy Wales’ tiny ear), turning them into a kind of caricature. I’m impressed. Delighted. Proud. And so thankful he’s at a school that tends to follow his lead rather than dragging him around by the hand at every step. So here they are: Jimmy Wales (co-founder of Wikipedia) and Jim Bezos (founder of eat your heart out!

jimmy walesjeff bezos


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