Liz Garton Scanlon (liz_scanlon) wrote,
Liz Garton Scanlon


Elder daughter woke up this morning with a fever and a raging sore throat, which is kind of unfair, what with the soccer game at 11 and the violin recital at 5 and the general melee that is spring. 

But even worse? The poor little lamb gets delirous when fevers strike. This morning there were "mice running around in her head. Not a headache exactly. Just scurrying."

And lemme tell you, I know of what she speaks. 

Some of my most visceral childhood memories are of those mice. I used to tell my mom and dad that my mind was racing. Sometimes I'd play Really Rosie or Free to Be You and Me on my Sears record player to try to even out the tempo, although looking back, the very Sendakian Really Rosie wasn't exactly sanity building...

I'm sure my parents thought I was just a wee loopy when I was under the influence of the hots, and they weren't alone. One time I yelled out so desperately in the middle of the night that my sister was scared to answer my cries and I reported her kidnapped. 

Not long after that, I grew out of my ferverish rants, although I still have a doozy of a dream now and again. Last night, for example, my husband driving very, very fast toward a deep, deep canyon and only stopping when his car was teetering on the edge. But that's another post. Or not.

Now, dadgumit, my daughter's inherited the scurrying. This pains me, even more than the fact that both of our girls got wide feet. The acknowledgement that I passed on a really mixed bundle of genes -- the good, the bad and the woo-woo -- is a bitter pill, especially on the eve of mother's day when I'd prefer feeling generous, powerful and invincible. 

So what's a mom to do? Pull fresh sheets onto her daughter's bed, place a wet cloth on her forehead, and try to even out the tempo of things. Which is, oddly, just what she's done for me these 8-and-a-half years. Maybe not the clean sheets and the cool compress, but the tempo, surely. 

While I speed up into a manic whirling dervish -- managing daughters, dogs, work, love and laundry -- she slooows me down. Until here we are, walking together holding hands, curling together like two halves of a clam shell, falling asleep together with a book on our laps. 

I mean to say she is generous, powerful and invincible, and suddenly the gene pool isn't looking that bad. 

The mice have left the building. 

Happy Mother's Day...


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