The Measles

I don’t know how old I was when I had the measles. I think I was quite little. There may have been more than one kind of measles that I had, but the time I remember was early in the summer.

Back then, a diagnosis of measles meant the child was kept inside with the shades pulled. I don’t know if it was true, but the belief then was that you could lose your eyesight with measles by exposure to sunlight. For a small child to be cooped up day after day, especially when the weather was nice, it was pure torture. I probably drive my mother crazy, too. My two siblings were older, and I’m sure they had already had measles and chicken pox and all of the other standard childhood illnesses.

As the days dragged on—it seemed like forever to my small self—I grew more impatient to be outside. One sunny Saturday morning, someone came to the door. I had had enough of staying inside. I made my escape just like a puppy scooting out an open door. I ran past the grownups at the door. I ran and ran and ran. They finally caught up with me at the end of the next block. I couldn’t stop laughing. It felt so good to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine again.

My big brother slung me up on his shoulders and took me back to prison until my spots were gone.

Cris Roll


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