A Small Scar
Every morning when I wash my face, I see it, that tiny white scar just to the left of my nose. No one ever notices, of course, but it sets into motion memories that are now in shorthand, a snippet of memory that replays almost every day.
When I was very little, before I started kindergarden, childhood diseases and their management were a bit different. There was an immunization for measles, but not chickenpox. Very young children who got chickenpox generally had a very brief, flulike period, then broke out in extremely itchy, small red pustules. It's a very annoying disease for small children,
but not very dangerous. As one grows older the disease is increasingly dangerous, affecting the lungs, brain, heart or joints. Mothers were often proactive, making sure their kids got it at the "right" time, about 3-to-5-years old was best.
I remember when you found out that Mary and Louie Davis had chickenpox, I was about 4 and Daniel about 2 1/2. You took me over to play with Mary for the afternoon. I don't remember if you took Daniel, but you were so pleased when I broke out in spots a couple of weeks later. Daniel got it too and he had it worse than I did. Poor baby scratched himself raw because there was no way to explain to him that he shouldn't. I helped you put socks on his tiny hands and then you put them on mine before we went to bed so we wouldn't scratch too much. I tried, I really did and you were patient, but I couldn't stop picking off the spot next to my nose, so there's a little white scar there.
It's a little marble of memory, a thing in itself that rolls through my head, comes to a stop and reloads, ready to roll again tomorrow.
I love you,