I had chicken pox when it was going around Amherstburg Public School in the 70s. A lot of people have memories of sick days involving game shows but mine are of Bozo and Mr. Dressup. My favourite times were when Mr. Dressup would pull a costume out of the Tickle Trunk or when Casey and Finnegan popped up. I would be bundled up in a blanket on the couch wrapped in a blanket and my mom would feed me chicken soup. In the case of the chicken pox, I’m pretty sure she covered my spots in oatmeal to stop them from itching. This was back when neighbourhood mothers would bring their kids by the house to expose them. My mother and their mother clucked about how it’s good to get it out of the way because it’s much worse if you get it as an adult and how grateful my mom was to “get this out of the way.”
As rough as those sick days could be, I always relished them. It was just mom, me, and Mr. Dressup. We lived close to school so I usually walked on my own but on those special first days back, mom would make a special lunch and walk with me up Richmond to make sure I was strong enough to return. I couldn’t always take the time off when my kids were sick and I’ve always felt bad about that but I did make sure that I was the one to take them when they went back and that they had a special lunch just like my mom did for me.
Michelle – 57
Picture of the School Bell at Amherstburg Public School from the School website. Click here to see the original source.