I Need a Crown

Jack has recovered from yet another strep infection. The difference between Healthy Jack and Sick Jack is the difference between a train humming down the track, and a smoking pile of mangled rail cars, mixed with bloodied carcasses of cattle.

Healthy Jack is goofy, giggly, amiable.

Sick Jack breaks things, shreds things, hits people. Sick Jack means calling all ships, all hands on deck, all stations manned. Sick Jack demands all the attention and all the energy.

Our good intentions to use our time well fizzles when Jack is sick. We can’t get anything done other than be with Jack, running interference and doing damage control. Cleaning up the messes he makes. Giving him medicine. Taking him on rides. Wondering how long it will take for the meds to work.

But Jack wasn’t sick this weekend, which meant we got all sorts of raking, pruning, oil-changing, rear brakes replacing, Christmas card writing, and date night replenishing done. It feels so nice to have a weekend that isn’t solely comprised of clearing the wreckage from the house Jack has broken.

Life is manageable when we aren’t frozen in the thrall of another illness.

Never mind the fact that our garage is full of the furniture that Jack broke. It’s full up. And he ripped open one of the giant beanbags so 8,000 foam pieces are floating around too. Jack is a full time job, my friends.

Jeff and I are watching the Netflix series, The Crown, and I keep thinking, wistfully, of all the people who work for Queen Elizabeth II. She has platoons of people buzzing around Buckingham Palace, helping helping helping.

This is what Jack needs, or rather I need on behalf of Jack. An army of support staff. I understand that neither Jack nor I are sovereigns. We are not royals, in the literal sense. But come on. If anyone needs vast numbers of people simply always ready to serve, it’s Jack. And by extension, me.

Currently the power is out. My enterprising men have fired up the generator and are watching a football game. Charlie’s on youtube kids. I’m writing, thanks to my laptop battery and a fully charged hot spot. And Jack is menacing the generator. He straight up can’t leave it alone. Henry is prone to wigging out because the game keeps going away thanks to Jack pulling the extension cord and toppling the generator.

If this were The Crown, a liveried butler would redirect Jack with a gentle touch of his white-gloved hands. “Pardon me, Sir. May I accompany you away from the generator? Very good, Your Majesty.”

Of course, royals do not have a generator hooked up to the television of a Sunday evening to watch American football games when the power goes out.

But if they did, you better believe they would assign a well-appointed personal secretary (or twelve) to manage Jack’s whereabouts.

Royals aren’t stupid. They consider all the options and make informed decisions. They use their minds and their extensive education to find solutions. They’re just like me, only anointed in Westminster Abbey and commanding an air force and a navy and a treasury.

Jack commands me.

Please send liveried butlers.


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