I hear sniffling and scuffling coming from down the hall. Someone is sick, I can just feel it. Footsteps, I can hear them, they're coming my way and when a head pops around the corner, yes, I see it. I was right. The face peeking around the corner has the tell-tale droopy eyes, the red nose and the pale face.
It's a little worse than I thought. He's got fever, chills, dizziness, congestion, a sore throat and lots of complaining. There has been a confirmed case of Swine Flu - excuse me, H1N1 flu - in our school district, so we are all on alert. The fact that this sick boy is the one who never complains, has rarely had anything more serious than a sinus infection and is now unable to move makes us just a little nervous.
While I'm pretty sure it's NOT the "bacon fever" as my kids call it, we're still taking precautions. Bacon Boy (yes, brothers are cruel) is now in isolation, Mom goes in with soup, medication and tissues and comes out heading straight for the bathroom to wash her hands. And, down the sink go the germs... along with green priorities.
A family of six can go down hard when the flu strikes, so we strike back. Soft, lotion-y tissues replace the fiber-y recycled kind and when used, go straight into a plastic bag and are thrown in the trash. Toothbushes are boiled in hot water, the bathroom is scrubbed and sanitized with cleansers that promise to kill 99.9% of germs. I buy fizzy Sprite - Bacon Boy's favorite - and pour liberally. Hands are washed often and we even splurge for hand sanitizer, but the "green smelly kind" as the boys say. A TV is lugged up the stairs, a DVD player installed so B.B. can watch endless hours of The Simpsons from the comfort of his own bed. Cans pile up in the recycling bin, Campbell's Chicken Noodle mostly. Mom's homemade just isn't the same when you're sick and have a craving and Mom is a sucker for a sick, pitiful face.
And then, a couple of days later, Bacon Boy wakes from a deep sleep and feels better. The cleansers go back into storage, the hand sanitizer along with it, the bar soap reemerges, the empty bottle of Sprite languishes in the returnable bin. The rough, scratchy recycled content tissues appear back in the bathroom and the world returns to normal.
That is, until... Someone else gets sick. My throat isn't scratchy, really it's not. It must be sleeping with the window open. That's why my nose feels a little congested, right? Right?!? What are the boys going to call me? Mama Bacon? I'm going back to bed...
This is The Green Phone Booth's "eco-confession" for June's Green Moms Carnival. The carnival will be hosted at The Green Parent on June 24th. Come read about the skeletons in our collective green closet.