COVID-19, Spring Break Day 4

Thursday Morning

200 sit-ups pumps a lot of blood to your head.

I’ve decided to not grow a beard but continue shaving as beard growth discourages me from playing my trumpet and French horn. Too prickly. Besides, shaving is routine. Routine is good.

Before having the cousins over, the girls and I started some projects, namely: clean the garage. Then my wife called, saying she might or might not have an office to work out of anymore. My oldest daughter and I took the smaller of our two desks out of the garage and put it in our bedroom. Wife came home. “Not this one. The other one.”

“Can I have that one?” our youngest asked. I had already asked her to re-stack the books on the bookcase I had to remove from our room to make room for the desk my wife didn’t want–and I’d given this kid a picture of how to put the books back on the shelf, and she’d done it perfectly, so I said yes. We then rearranged the girls’ room. That kid was so happy to get a desk…so she can do school work when it starts up again.

Brought in the other desk.

Put a bunch of stuff in the van.

Went to the dump with the girls while my son worked a full shift at the pharmacy.

The lady at the dump normally hands me a card while my car is on the scale, but this time she just gave me a number. Six.

“Six, six, six, six,” my youngest started saying. “Six, six, sex, sex, sex–” giggle, giggle, giggle.

In the last few weeks, my wife has given her the talk. Now the word ‘sex’ is hysterical.

“You can’t keep saying that!” my oldest daughter warned. “Someone might hear you and think the wrong thing. Besides, it won’t stay funny.”

“It’s funny now! Se-e-e-x!” giggle, giggle.

We emptied the van of our junk and drove back to the weighing station. “Our number was six,” I said.

“Sex,” was whispered in the back seat.

We went to the Dollar Store, got canvases and supplies for a bunch of small science experiments our youngest wants to do because she got a kids’ book from the library. Then tried the mall because there was a sale on jeans on Tuesday. Clothing stores closed now. Then went to the Vision Center in the Superstore to consider new glasses for our youngest because she recently busted her normal pair and is wearing her back-up pair with her old prescription. I explained to the attendant (we’ll call her Hannah) that we had an appointment with the specialist next week, but it’s cancelled. “I still have her current prescription on my phone. Can we use that?”

“Absolutely,” Hannah smiled, “and when you do get an appointment, when everything settles down, if the prescription changes we’ll change the lenses. No charge.”

We sampled nine sets of glasses, leaving each set on the counter so Hannah could wipe them clean later. My daughter is so blind without her glasses she can’t try on a pair of frames and look in the mirror, so I took pictures of her on my phone and then had her put her spare glasses on to scroll through her options.

Hannah told us it was pretty much buy-one-get-one-free, so we got two pairs for $149. And then insurance covered it all. Nice.

Before we left, my middle daughter asked Hannah about her tattoo on her wrist. It said, “It was then that I carried you,” and had three footprints next to the words. Hannah explained the meaning of it all in reference to the famous poem. My girls had never heard the poem. It was so neat to watch my middle daughter draw the testimony out of this woman. We then encouraged each other in Christ. It was a good moment.

On the way home, my youngest threw out the idea, “It’s like saying ‘six’ with a British accent.” She then proceeded to count like a Londoner, “One, two, three, four, five, sex!”

I was laughing so hard, I almost cried.

Thursday Afternoon

The cousins came over and bounced on our trampoline and ran around shooting each other with Nerf guns. The youngest cousins, five and three, kept handing me Goldfish to eat. I accepted their generosity.

We went to the park, not knowing we weren’t allowed to climb on the park equipment because COVID-19 can survive on it for two days. The youngest kids shot me with Nerf guns and gave me more Goldfish while the older ones played “Grounders.” It’s like Marco-Polo on a playground and you can’t touch the ground.

When we went home, my youngest daughter tried to jump into the van’s trunk at the same moment that my middle daughter tried to shut the trunk.

Blood gushed from my youngest daughter’s forehead like a fountain. I brought her to the front steps, put my hand over the cut and had her sit down while I sent my other two inside with a, “You get your phone,” in case I have to leave, “and you get me paper towels.” God, how in the world am I going to get this kid stitches at a time like this?

In three seconds, my hand was soaked. Blood was all over her face, in her mouth. “Dad,” she whispered as she shivered under my arm, “am I going to die?” She looked down at her own hands, covered in warm blood.

“No, sweetheart. You’re going to be okay. Put your face up toward the sky.”

Paper towels came in the hands of my middle girl, tears streaming down her face.

“She’s going to be okay, kiddo.” My oldest daughter began to clean the youngest’s hands. The middle girl looked on, wanting to do something. “Take her glasses inside and clean them.”

My oldest and I moved the little one to the back yard and had her lay down on the slight hill, head above her feet. We took off her bloody shirt. “Go get me the quilt blanket from her bed.”

“The one Grandma made?”

I stayed with my little one, hugging her body, pressing the paper towel on her head. She couldn’t stop trembling. “Do you want to me to pray?” She nodded. So I prayed quietly near her ear and she took big, slow breaths. By the time the blanket came, the bleeding had stopped. We began cleaning her hair with paper towels and a bowl of water. “You’re going to be okay.”

Version 2

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