By Laura Grimes
Remember that time when I was halfway around the world and I would write sneaky blog posts that would not-so-secretly reveal exciting news? Remember how I would slyly tell about the special presents I was bringing home, knowing you would be thrilled? And how you would come home from school every day and go to your computer, read the daily post and instant-message me, while I stayed up really late in my time zone? Remember our silly game of including lots of exclamation points? Remember how you instant-messaged me that you were in the middle of reading that day’s post (I thought, Oh, good, here it comes … ) and you innocently chatted away and then you wrote … “You got me a catapult?!!!!!!!!!!”? I loved that moment. Remember how fun that was?
Yeah, well, this isn’t one of those times.
The dreaded official letter from school has arrived. You need shots.
Consider this a catapult of a different kind.
I tried to schedule it for before Christmas when you would be too excited to know what hit you. That worked well 8 years ago. But the doctor’s office didn’t have a slot available.
You know how there’s always that letdown right after Christmas? It’s just possible you might feel it more acutely than ever this year.
One more thing. You’re such a strapping lad these days. I enlisted your dad to take you. I feel just a bit sad about that.
I also feel a bit sad that I’m not halfway around the world right now.
But look on the bright side: At least the next time I try to give you away to a good home, I can say you’ve had all your shots.
So, Honeybun, check the calendar, will you? I’m here whenever you want to message me.
TOP: A cheap die-cast Roman catapult with a built-in pencil sharpener costs only a few bucks and can be found at any tourist trap in London, but it earned Mrs. Scatter enormous clout with her catapult-loving son.
BOTTOM: “The Cow-Pockâ€”orâ€”the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!â€”vide. the Publications of ye Anti-Vaccine Society”
Print (color engraving) by James Gillray (1756â€“1806), published June 12, 1802, by H. Humphrey, St. James’s Street.
The British satirist caricatured a scene at the Smallpox and Inoculation Hospital at St. Pancras, showing Edward Jenner administering cowpox vaccine to frightened young women, and cows emerging from different parts of people’s bodies./Wikimedia Commons
Private note to Felix/Martha: I’m not guaranteeing that cow business won’t happen.