Quarantine Quandary

One day when I was in the 4th Grade, I developed some spots on my skin. They were red and itched quite a bit. They resembled mosquito bites. I had a few on my arm, my stomach, and my back. It was like they were multiplying. I showed them to my Momma and she said, “Those aren’t mosquito bites. You have chickenpox!”


I was out of school for two weeks. Ordinarily, I would have been thrilled. But I was covered in these things from head to toe. Literally. I couldn’t play with any of my friends even after they arrived home from school or on the weekend. I was contagious. No varicella vaccine in the ’70s. My mother had to give me hot baths and slather pink calamine lotion all over my body. I’ll spare you the description of the boils. Ugghhh! Every time I even thought about scratching my skin, my parents warned me that I would have a scar in that spot. I was petrified.


I remember sitting on my bed with my Holly Hobbie bedspread and sheets wondering what I could do all day. I had a walk-in closet that was just big enough to fit a desk and chair in. I would sit in there and read. I could close the door because I had a light in there. A lone light bulb with a string hanging from it. There was a full length mirror on the door. I would stare at my chickenpox reflection and my messy hair. Those suckers were on my scalp too. I was in my own little world.


Momma and Daddy checked in with the school regularly, so I wouldn’t be behind when I returned. A few weeks prior, my class had been studying multiplication. I had worked on this at my desk in the closet many times. Daddy tells me that my class is now working on division. OMG! I’m going to miss division. My whole class is going to know how to do it and not me! Daddy calmed me down and said, “It’s just multiplication backwards.” Then he did some written exercises with me until it clicked and I felt comfortable with it. I practiced and practiced until I got it right. I couldn’t wait to get back to school and let everyone know that I didn’t miss a thing.

Do you have a chickenpox story? Or a similar childhood tale?

This post is forDay 18 of the Blog Every Day In May Challenge: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

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