Just to be clear from the outset: it's not that I would've been glad if Nick were in jail, because of course I wouldn't. I only would've preferred it to what seemed like the alternative at hand.
(Nick: I'm sure you understand, sweetheart.)
My mom left an urgent message on my voicemail this morning. “Lisa, call me as soon as you can.”
No details, nothing. I used to be used to these gut-wrenching messages, back when my dad was alive. My body went cold. This sent me into a complete panic.
You see, when Jordan woke up this morning, he was cry-y. He had a bad cough. He had a fever. He was clearly sick. Or, as my mother has always put it, ever since I was a kid, “feeling puny.”
I took his temperature. We have this digital thermometer, and he used to be belligerent about it. I mean, it is a little weird to expect a toddler to sit still while you place something on his forehead and run it across.
It makes me feel very old and all, “I walked uphill in the snow both ways to school!” when I think about how my parents used to shake down the mercury and then you’d have to sit very still with it under your tongue or your armpit. Which was at least not your anus.
This little electronic thing is easy.
Anyway, to entice Jordan into staying still while we take his temperature, we play this game. I’ll ask Nick if he wants me to take his number. And then we’ll make a big deal about it. “Oh! 97.8! What a number!”
Then Jordan is all, "Look at my number! Look at my number!"
Also, Nick always runs cool, which is so weird to me since he can pretty much walk around in the snow naked and still be warm. I mean, he doesn’t, and wouldn't, in case you live in our neighborhood and worry. But I betcha $5 he could.
Anyway, Jordan had this little fever. Not so high. But that, coupled with the cough and his general listlessness made us very glad he could stay home and snuggle on the couch with Nana. We dosed him up with grape Tylenol and told my mom to call if she needed either of us.
So back to Betty’s voicemail. I had a busy morning, and didn’t look at my phone until several hours after she’d left the message. I figured she’d talked to Nick in the meantime, but still, I flipped out.
I was sure Jordan had taken this massive turn for the worse. As I was calling back, I had visions of reaching Betty in the emergency room of Children’s Hospital, my boy all hooked up to an IV.
I do sometimes wonder if I don't have a little PTSD from my dad. I don't say that lightly.
So she answered quickly, and I said, “What’s wrong? What happened? You said to call you immediately!”
“Well. Nick’s uncle called to say that Nick was in jail.”
“Oh, thank God.”
“He’s not. What?”
“I thought something happened to Jordan. Wait, what?”
Nick’s 96-year old grandfather got a call this morning, ostensibly from Nick. He was in jail and needed $2,000 as soon as possible.
And so his grandfather immediately called one of Nick’s uncles. Who then tried and tried to reach Nick. And then called our house. So Betty then called Nick’s office. She left two messages. B
When Nick returned from a meeting, he had two urgent messages from his uncle, and two from Betty. He was sure his grandfather had died.
By the time I spoke with her, she'd spoken with Nick, and he'd called his uncle.
Not from Mexican jail. And he didn't need money.
And Jordan? He was still feeling puny, so at his request they went to “the cupcake store,” AKA my favorite Korean Jewish deli, which apparently has cupcakes. And then he asked for a nap.
In other words, no toddlers are on the brink of death, and nobody's shot a man in Reno, or, rather, Tijuana, and wound up in the slammer. I mean, nobody I'm currently the mother of or married to.
And there you have it.