Dear Jean and Chris,
I am sorry my son almost killed you.
He didn't mean to
liquidate your internal organs. That's just how kids are. They hug,
they cuddle, they take your hands in theirs – and then they infect you
with whatever monkeypox variant they find in their Pampers. They don't
know that every zerbert they give you is actually the kiss of death.
That you're going to end up fraternity-rush-week sick, praying for
mercy to a God whose existence you've begun to question. How could they
At the same time, I do ask for your forgiveness. In the
hours before Zev showed signs of illness (and by "signs," I mean
"scenes"; and by "scenes," I mean "scenes from 'The Exorcist' "), I
thought it was cute the way Jean was playing Evil Hand with him,
pretending her hand was attacking her face. And then attacking Zev's
face. And then her face again. In hindsight, that level of contact with
toddlers probably requires a special rider on your life insurance.
it's any consolation, my adorable bioterrorist infected me so badly, I
couldn't leave the house for four days – I could eat nothing for the
first day and nothing but ice chips for the second. Also, my husband's
illness has somehow traveled from his stomach to his eyes, which are
now red and – there's no other word for it – leaky.
And if your
misery wants even more company, Zev's day-care provider spent her
four-day weekend kneeling over her toilet, too. As did many of Zev's
friends and their parents. It's fairly clear at this point that Zev was
Patient Zero of this baby-bola outbreak, a distinction that has made
him immensely popular in playgroup.
No one, so far, has
threatened legal action, and I hope – taking into account our many
years of friendship – that it stays that way. Speaking of which, I am
grateful that you did not alert Hazmat or the CDC about our noxious
little bundle of joy. A lesser couple would have ordered our house
tented and had Zev whisked away, ET-style. So, thank you.
also very kind of you to call and inquire about our diminutive dirty
bomb. He's feeling much better. In fact, he wasn't really all that
sick. Despite exploding from both ends, he never lost his sunny
disposition or his unyielding desire to play – a situation that filled
me with both relief and utter horror.
It was also sweet of you
to note that I lost weight in this experience. Zev was the reason I had
started to look like a garden gnome; it only makes sense that he'd
"help" me regain my shape. (I'm considering marketing a weight-loss
regimen that involves licking the doorknobs at preschools. What do you
The next time you see Zev (if, indeed, you ever brave
another meeting with the little Petri dish), I can't promise you that
he won't be harboring another electrolyte-sapping parasite. But I can
promise that we'll all do a better job of washing our hands and
limiting our zerberts.
Again, I'm terribly sorry that you found
yourself dissolving into a foamy liquid and gushing out in unnatural
pain on my son's account. If there is anything I can do to make up for
the four days of your lives that will be lost forever in a blur of
Imodium and Dramamine, please let me know.