"This is Laura," I said, as I do when I answer my work phone.
"Hi, it's Susan," started one of Little Dog's teachers at preschool. "It looks like Little Dog is the next one in our class to get sick."
"Oh no!" I said.
"He threw up at snack," she started but before she could continue, I cut to the chase.
"I'll come pick him up." I said. "I'm sorry." I added, as though I played some part in his illness. For the record, I did not. And I did not drop off a sick child this morning. In fact, it was a good morning. He woke up with a smile, got up, ate breakfast, played with his brother, got dressed and happily ran off to play when we got to school. No morning drama, which I am becoming all too accustomed to. No, today was a good day. Until snack.
I returned to my phone meeting and as soon as it was possible, I excused myself. I sent out an email and headed off to pick up Little Dog.
When I got to his preschool, he was sitting at one of the small tables with his head down while his friends played around him. When he saw me, he started to cry. Sad sobbing with that extra something only a sick little boy can add.
I picked him up, spoke briefly to his teacher, collected his belongings and got him to the car. My normally vibrant and feisty boy was miserable. He hardly held his head up and when we had to stop for gas on the way home, he was hit by nausea again. I managed to get a sweater in front of him before he christened my car, but only just.
As we drove home I talked to my little guy.
"Oh angel boy, I'm so sorry you are sick," I said, glancing in the rear view mirror at his very subdued little face.
"It not your fault, mama" he said in the saddest little sick boy voice. "It not your fault."
Aw, sweetness. I didn't even try to explain what I meant.