Thursday 28 August 2008
This morning we drove way down over the bridge to Norfolk to shop for school supplies, mainly stuff for our art classes-- Jessy and I are both in the same class, plus choir-- and leotards for Lisa's dance class. Little J.J. was very good for the ride and insisted on walking most of the day. We no longer take a stroller anywhere for him-- he will walk at least half the time we are out and when someone has to carry him he is tired enough that he is no bother. He is actually a very affectionate little guy and is very good to us all.
On the way back up the Shore in the van I started feeling ill. This is unlike me-- I am hardly ever sick in any way. We'd stopped for cold drinks on the way down and I'd had to get a Pepsi, which I hate, and other than that all I had was Burger King when we stopped for lunch. Normally I can handle that, and we have not gone for fast food in at least a week. But I felt full and sluggish and heavy in the head. When we got home I went up to lie down but it wasn't getting any better and finally I had to go into my bathroom and get rid of it, which was very messy involving both ends. There is nothing worse than having to clean up the sink after yourself, you know. When I could stand upright I took a very warm shower, dried off only a little, and collapsed on my bed without putting on anything.
There are three ways into my room. Over in the corner is a door leading to my parents' dressing room, actually one of their walk-in closets, but it's bolted and we never use that. My parents' room is above the dining room and their door is in the front stair hall. Round the mezzanine above the front hall, my room is above the parlour with a door opening off a little lobby. This is the door to be used in case this room ever becomes a guest room. The front gallery connects from the lobby and leads into what gets called 'the children's wing', where Lisa's and Jessy's rooms are. The third door from my room goes directly from the hallway outside Lisa's room into my little dressing area where my closets and bathroom are.
I lay still on top of the mussed sheets of my bed, in what Daddy calls the 'dead dog' position, on my left side with my head on the pillows and my arms and legs extended partway out towards the edge. It was the only way I had got comfortable. I was staring straight through the dressing area at the half-open door when it swung into the room and Daddy appeared. 'Hey,' he said softly.
'Hey,' I said hoarsely, as my throat still hurt from its ordeal twenty minutes before.
He came in and leaned over me, pushing a strand of sweaty hair off the side of my face. Of course my daddy has seen me undressed plenty of times, but he's always looked right at me-- meaning my eyes-- and it's stopped being awkward. The other day I showed him a bug bite on my bottom. He looked at it, because I couldn't, and said to put Anbesol on it. That was about as awkward as it got. 'What happened to you?' he asked.
I gave a little shrug. Lying like that it probably only looked like I was wiggling one shoulder. 'I guess something I ate.'
He nodded, glancing over once to see that I'd opened one of the windows, and then bent down again to lay the back of his hand against mt forehead, and neck. I was not very warm now, after the shower. 'Do you need something to drink?'
I made the shrug again. 'Jessy will get me something.'
He smiled then. 'You're lucky to have each other,' he said-- he says that to us often. 'Well-- no one's expecting you for supper. I think we were just going to have leftovers. We have some of that macaroni left.... Just let your mother know if you want anything.'
I smiled. I know it was for our sake that he began referring to our stepmother as our mother, and not by her name any more, after the wedding. But we had been calling her 'Mother', because that's what Liesl calls Maria in 'The Sound of Music', almost since the engagement. Maybe she is not my mother, really, except if you count motherhood as being the person who guides you, supports you, cares for you without question or condition, because she loves you more than herself... then of course she is very much my mother.
'Okay,' I said softly.
'Don't dehydrate. I'll send Jessy down for something cool for you.'
Then he leaned down and kissed me on the side of the head, turned, and went out, leaving the door as he'd found it. Out in the hall I heard him asking those other two to be quiet around me. Neither of them had been making much sound at all. I smiled a little. But he is always very gentle with us, even to the point of overcompensating a little. I suppose having a slightly overindulgent daddy is not the worst thing!
It's 12.05 Friday morning as I type this, so apparently I've got better.