It was a school night and as the warm water rushed out of the shiny faucet, I climbed into the tub for my bath. I saw the bright pink bottle of bubble bath with that silly bubble guy smiling back at me. I grabbed it and started to unscrew the cap when my Mom walked back in.
“No bubbles tonight.”
“But why, Mommy?!”
“Just not tonight.”
I noticed her eyes looked tired as she turned to grab the shampoo and the cup she always used to rinse my hair. I suddenly felt the waterfall over my head and back, washing over my thick mane, the one she loathed combing out. As I looked up at her and smiled she exclaimed, “Oh NO!!”
The expression on her face turned grim and she quickly grasped my torso with both hands and turned my back to face her. I could feel her eyes as they scanned my little girl body. Then she put her damp palm against my forehead as she pointed out the multitude of red splotches all over me.
“Well, you won’t be going to school tomorrow. Or the next day for that matter…”
Her words struck me like a kick ball to the arm at recess. What? “But I LOVE school”, I thought. It had only been a few weeks but I was already accustomed to the routine and enjoying my new friends. It was there that I was basking in the newness of it all and learning to spell my name. The place where they served chocolate milk every day in the big white cafeteria with the fold-down tables.
If I was not there, who would sit with my friend who had the same Holly Hobby lunch box and thermos? She’d miss me for sure. I was unsure how all my work would get done; I started to cry just thinking about it.
My mom finished rinsing my hair and looked into my brown eyes that matched hers. “Oh honey, it’s alright, you just have the Chicken Pox and it’s very contagious so you cannot go to school for a few days. We just don’t want your friends to get sick too. It’s okay… ” Her voice trailed off and I pouted the entire time she got the tangles out of my hair with my sparkly pink comb.
I was away from school for the rest of that week, lying on the sofa while my mom did her ironing and watched her soap operas, just like the days before school began. I don’t recall feeling that bad, I just remember wanting to be back in my school room, back learning, back with my friends.
When I returned to school the next week I instantly recognized the smells of fresh crayons, Elmer’s glue and construction paper. I sat back in my spot at the half moon-shaped table where my name was spelled out before me, and smiled at my friends. I tried to guess which letter we would learn about that day and looked around the room wondering who gave me the Chicken Pox.
To this day I’m guessing it was one of the “cootie”-laden boys. I’m just sure of it.
For this week’s RemembeRED prompt, we’re asking you to remember kindergarten…