Lice is something that moms of school age kids hate to even think about. You would think that since I homeschool my kids, I wouldn’t have to worry about such things. Wrong! I got an email the other day that the sports team my daughter plays on had an outbreak of lice. This brought not-so-sweet memories for me. There was on time my mom got that dreaded phone call.
The girl I sat next to in class and her whole family had bugs crawling around on them. Because of this, the entire school was subjected to a thorough head search. One by one we were escorted to the coatroom that had been turned into a sort of hospital. When it was my turn in the hot seat, I had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The guy sitting in the chair across from me didn’t’ look particularly happy, either. He had a horrible case of dandruff and I couldn’t figure out how the teacher who was searching his head could tell the difference between eggs and dandruff. His teacher made the comment, “These guys are having a field day in your hair.” Yuck! He had the bugs! Then the teacher who was checking my hair spoke up. “Ohhh, Jeri’s not going to be happy about this!”
All I could think of was, “Thanks, Karen for sitting next to me and always brushing your hair in my direction!” Fortunately, I didn’t have any bugs, just eggs. Still, my head began to itch just by the power of suggestion.
All the parents of lice-infected kids were called. I grew up when moms were almost always home, but unfortunately, it didn’t matter for me because we only had one car and it was at work with my dad. I had to sit segregated from my class for the rest of the afternoon. Fortunately, it was only about an hour till the buses came.
Unfortunately, again, we were not able to just get on the bus and go home. We attended private school and had to take a transfer bus to the bus that would actually take me home. That would not have been so bad if there were no brothers on board. Unfortunately, my brother and I lived in the same house, which left us to ride the same bus.
I was unusually quiet and shy if there weren’t any of my friends around and on the bus there weren’t. So, I almost always sat up front. My brother was one of the troublemakers, so he usually sat in the back of the bus.
We had not been on the bus too long before I heard a familiar voice, shouting from the back, “Stay away from my sister, she has lice!” It was all I could do to keep myself from crying. I felt someone looking at me, which was absolutely silly because everyone on the bus was looking at me by this point. I looked up and saw the bus driver’s eyes in her rear-view mirror. She just smiled to let me know that everything would be okay.
When we did get home, I let the tears come. I didn’t know which was worse, having lice or everyone knowing that I had lice.
Mom was waiting for me and she was all prepared with the special shampoo that kills lice eggs. This was about 4:00 in the afternoon. Mom immediately helped me to get a shower. She ferociously scrubbed my head till I didn’t think the lice would matter anymore because I wouldn’t have any hair left! After the scrubbing, mom had to basically search through my hair strand by strand to look for the eggs. And I had a lot of hair.
Even though we had weekly activities at church that night, I was unable to go, because mom was still searching for eggs. I sat on the couch in front of my mom and ever so slowly turned as she painstakingly made her way around my head. I guessed this was one of the curses of having long, thick hair that other people often said that they wished they had. At that point, I would have gladly scalped myself and given my mane to the next person who asked.
Around 9:30 that evening, my dad and brother arrived home from church. Mom and I were still in our same spots on the couch. Although, I don’t remember exactly what time it was when mom finished, I do remember that it was extremely late and all I was allowed to do was go to bed.
That was the only time my life I ever had lice. Thank you, Lord! And my daughter did not end up having lice, either! Yea!