Every parent knows the first two or three years of your kid’s life is hell on your own, or at least on your time in sick bay. They go out into their preschools and daycares and enter a world where everyone wipes their noses with their hands and then sticks those hands where? Right into the community toy box, that’s where, and your own angel picks up those germs and brings them home to you, lucky parent.
The germ transfer happens like that, or else they use the ever-charming Sneeze Directly Into Mommy’s Face method.
Anyway, by around the year four, this has abated a bit. The kids are practicing better personal hygiene, they’ve learned to cover their noses before they sneeze, and your own immune system is finally adjusting to this little petri dish of contagion living among you. When Kate was born, I went from a cold a year to five colds a year. There was one we both had that was so bad it redefined the experience; it was a two-week, box-of-Kleenex-a-day horror show. (I should have just hung a bucket around my neck, or affixed something like an equine feed bag, and spared the landfill the mountains of tissue.) But now I’m down to two, maybe three, and they’re not so awful.
But ch-ch-ch-changes! How could I have forgotten the Kollege Kold, the dark side of 39,000 people living in close proximity to one another, sitting at the same desks, touching the same light switches, breathing all over one another in non-intimate situations? In Athens, the KK was the first thing to set my studies back in the fall. This year the sniffling arrived with first frost; young Vladimir in Russian 101 spoke of the South Quad cold. I thought it was going to get me, but it just brushed me back a little. A few early bedtimes and it left the building.
But I wouldn’t be lucky for long. I have a real KK now, a huddle-in-comforters, brew herbal tea, nod off over your homework doozy. So does Alan, although Kate, so far, has escaped. After years, I have the opportunity to give a cold back to her, although of course mommy would never do such a thing, because it just means extra work for me.
Which is the long way around to say: There may be a few link posts over the next few days, but little you’d call cogent and hard-hitting, not that there’s much of that anyway. You know what I mean. Off to the teapot.