It seemed that everything was looking up for us, an upgrade on the fifth wheel, a great trip to Disney World and we had made it home safely. Now it was time to start planning the party in the clubhouse that was reserved for us, or not. What we didn’t think about was the hand sanitizing wipes, lots of vitamin C and other immune boosting meds before the trip into the land on International germs for a child who is homeschooled and not subjected to those kinds of things on a daily basis.
It only took about 24 hours for the germs to take hold and set in with a fever of 101 or so, a terrible cough and congestion that couldn’t be shook, and just an overall miserable feeling. The poor baby was weak from the fight her body was going through against all those germs; I can only guess which country they came from. It took us only a day to figure out why she was suddenly sick as the dickens. In my mind I could remember vividly touching all the handrails while we waited in lines, playing with the goo pictures, as we called them, at the Winnie the Pooh ride, all the buckles and such that our fingers had touched numerous times.
The birthday party at the clubhouse was put off for fear of getting the other homeschoolers deathly sick too. There was no way I was putting another parent through what we were going through out of our own stupidity. I vowed the next trip to any amusement park there would be sanitizing wipes in my backpack and I would be the weird parent using them religiously on every surface available to be wiped.
Luckily, all of the friends understood and would come by to visit, from a distance of course. Some would stop by and talk to us through our screen door. Others would send messages through the grandparents we had adopted; all were concerned and disappointed that the party would not be happening as planned. They brought the gifts to the lil one and dropped them on the steps; one group even sung Happy Birthday, through the screen door at a distance of course. One group brought their presents and requested the lil come out and sit in the fresh air, the dad insisted on it saying “the more germs mine are around the better”, as they were homeschooled too. We got clothes on and went out into the bright November sunshine that only Florida can offer at that time of the year, the fresh air and being outside felt great.
They hung around for a while, just catching up on our trip and talking about their plans of moving on. The lil one opened up all of the gifts, and each and every one of them were so thoughtful it brought tears to my eyes. Some were dress up jewelry they knew was a favorite, some more sensible gifts, a ball cap that fit her to a T to shield the harsh sun from the face, another was a huge picture with the lil one’s name on it to hang in the fifth wheel. Others even were made from recycled toys and things they had laying around, one being a dog treat box that was handmade by the little boy that gave it to her, these were even wrapped in paper bags and recycled boxes, they knew how much the lil one loves Mother Earth and recycling to help out.
It was by far one of the best birthdays we have had to date, just simply from everyone getting to know the lil one and putting that much thought into which present to get. Being full-timers themselves they fully understood the problem with carrying a bunch of extra weight and knew that storage space is limited in the rigs. I never will forget the birthday we had in Pecan Park RV Park in Jacksonville, FL and all the wonderful friends we made there.
We also had to check the mail as her family and friends from Alabama were sending gift cards and boxes with small trinkets in them. These trips to the mailbox were our only outing for four or five days. Thankfully we are homeschoolers and can take all the days off that are needed to get back to 100%, a sick child can’t fully concentrate on schoolwork with all the wiping of the nose and sneezing every few minutes.
We were up and running again at 100% capacity only a few days after the actual birthday. Schoolwork in the morning, lunch then outside to enjoy the mild winter days of Florida and an evening ride on the grandparents golf cart while walking their dogs. She was loving life again. I’m not a fan of having a completely sterile home environment, I fully believe that a few germs build better immune systems, but I will carry all the necessary tools to the next amusement park with me that are needed to keep the lil one healthy.
Until next time…..
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough. ~Author Unknown