Cooter, Class Clown and Caregiver

We have this “thing” in our family.  Whenever there’s a family gathering, a hootenanny if you will, inevitably there is someone with the sniffles.  Or sneezes.  Or something.  As we gather together all of us like this only twice a year, no one wants to miss out.  But neither do any of us want to expose anyone else to something contagious.  It got to be a running joke several years back, when someone, probably one of mine, was in attendance with nose issues and the parent (probably me) said, “Oh, it’s okay, she’s not contagious, it’s just allergies.”

And now it gets said by someone at just about every gathering.  Not contagious.  It’s allergies.  Yep.

We do this around here too.  Oh you’ll be all right, it’s just allergies.

Are you feeling puny?  It’s okay, don’t worry, it’s probably just allergies.

Yeah.  Like that.

The first indication I had that maybe what I’ve had going on the last day or so isn’t allergies was this afternoon.  I noticed I felt a little cool.  Chilled might be stretching it, but then again, maybe not.

This is August.  In Georgia.  In my house.  Where I’m a cheapskate with the air until it gets really warm in the house.

So yeah, cool? Chilled?  Something MIGHT be wrong with that picture.

I finally decided to take my temperature.  Cooter noticed me using the thermometer on myself, something that very rarely happens around here.  Thinking back, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to do that.

“Mama, are you sick?”

I checked the numbers after it beeped.  Hmmm.  Low grade.

This ain’t just allergies, y’all.

“Well, a little bit, buddy.  But it’s okay.”

His eyes got a little wider, and I could tell his wheels were turning.  My Fella and our Princess were at swim practice (yes, she’s loving it, thank you for asking), so it was just the two of us and Miss Sophie.  I turned off supper cooking on the stove.

“C’mon buddy, let’s take Sophie for her walk.”

He looked at me with concern.  “But Mama, you are sick, you can’t go out for a walk.”

I explained that Sophie needed to go out, and it was up to us to take her.

Cooter grabbed the leash and said, “I’ll walk her.”

Surprised, I said, wondering just how far he was willing to go with this, “Well, grab a bag, bud.  For…..you know.”

I turned to get my shoes and they were gone.  I wasn’t sure he’d remembered a bag, so I tucked one in my back pocket just in case.  I didn’t want him to think I didn’t have faith in him, but I also did NOT want to be without a bag.  Ahem.

I headed outside and didn’t see them.  Had I locked them in the house?

Then I heard him.  “Mama!”  He was waving his precious wave, the one that no words can truly do justice to in describing.  He and Sophie were up ahead on the sidewalk.

I walked a little faster.  “Well, c’mon Mama.  We’re ready.”

We made the walk around the neighborhood safe and sound and mission accomplished.  Twice.  Turns out it was fortuitous that I carried a second bag.  Cooter even tried to pick up what Miss Sophie left, but bless him.  His gag reflex is very, very strong.  The sight of him bending over with that bag, trying– it melts my heart.  He really was trying to take care of his Mama.

It gives me hope.  This is the same little guy who made me crazy today with his lack of focus on his lessons.  And the same one who, a couple of days ago, when I gave him some review addition and subtraction problems, answered “6-3” with “6.”

“Cooter, listen. If you have six cookies, and you eat three, you are not going to have six cookies left.”

He got his trademark look in his eyes.  “I will if I go and get some more.”  He cocked his head at me and grinned. “And I would.”

That’s how 6-3=6 in Cooter math, y’all.

And today that little goof tried to take care of me.  When he knew I could use it.

For the love.

I love that little booger.  And it’s not just because he smells nice.  Which he does.  And he beams sheepishly whenever I say something about someone smelling good.  Oh yeah, we’ve entered the next phase of boyhood.  I’ll know I’m in real trouble when he starts combing his hair.

My Joyfulfriend and I used to talk about our odds of being cared for by one of our children when we’re old.  This week I’ve had a glimpse of hope that maybe I’ve got another potential option–someone who will care for me and keep me laughing at the same time.

And that’ll do for a Thursday.

Me and my allergies cold are headed to bed.  Hope y’all have someone to keep you entertained and comforted too.

Love to all.

3 thoughts on “Cooter, Class Clown and Caregiver”

  1. At family reunions one kid or another would show up with something. With 11 kids in that generation, how could it be different? One of my sister-in-laws would be furious at the parents of the kids with the runny nose and begin to dose her kids with antibiotics prophylactically. Since we got together every five years when my father-in-law was living, no one wanted to miss the event. Now the memories are some of the funny stories we tell when we all get together. And incidentally, that sister-in-law is now one of my closest friends!

    1. I am glad y’all are close now. We get together twice a year and no one wants to miss it–I cannot imagine if it were only once every five years. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. I love it. We’ve been there too. Oh my word, we don’t want to bring THOSE ALLERGIES home with us. Ha. Appreciate your reading and making me smile. Best wishes.

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