Every birthday in high school was “celebrated” with long rehearsals up and down the band field, in my case with a flag in hand (or dropped on the ground, depending on the moment in time). Some might moan and groan about a birthday at band camp but as I was and am still one to enjoy the social aspect more than anything else (I am a Leo after all), I looked forward to birthday wishes. 

Not the singing, though. I’m still not much for the singing.

Every morning during band camp I’d get up, shower, put my hair in a bun (because it was the only thing I knew to do with the curly fro I had at the time) and put on my short shorts, ankle socks and spaghetti strap sports bra and tank top in my attempt to minimize the farmers tan that surely awaited me. We did marching drills, learned our spots, memorized routines and in return we took home the farmers tan, papers that marked our field spots and routines to practice (*cough* that never happened). 

My senior year, I caught strep. I can’t remember if my birthday was on a weekday or weekend that year but what I do remember is spending my 17th birthday sleeping on the lap of my then boyfriend while he watched movies. Consequently, that was also the year I found out I was allergic to amoxicillin after I was sent home as my body grew a huge red rash. Despite not feeling well I insisted on going back to band camp anyway because it was picture day. If you look closely at my picture that year, even though I tried to hide it with make up, you can tell my face is swollen. Ahh, memories. 

Fast forward about 15 (yikes) years. 

It’s August 22, 2014, and even though my birthday is technically over, I know Bryan has something up his sleeve (because he told me, and because he told me to come straight home that morning, when I usually make a grocery run after work). My alarm goes off at 7am. Bryan gets up and comments that his throat hurts, and not just a little bit. The twins, who have been back in day care for a total of 3 days at this point, both wake up with runny noses, but are acting fine so we get them ready and I drop them off.

At about 10:00 Bryan texts me that he has a fever.

Fifteen minutes later I have a voicemail from the day care saying Miles has a fever.

On the way home from picking Miles up, Bryan gets a call that Abby has a fever.


Hearing of Miles’ fever Bryan scheduled a doctors appointment, which I was hesitant with at first because usually the docs won’t do anything for a fever until its been 72 hours. But after Abby had one too, I left work early so we could take them. Even once we got home we debated keeping the appt vs waiting it out and treating the symptoms, but in the end decided to go because a) it was Friday and if we didn’t we’d have to wait until Monday or visit the ER and b) since Bryan was starting to wonder if he had strep we figured we’d just get them tested.

Ironically, even though Miles had the highest fever (104) and was acting all sick and pathetic and Abby was acting fairly normal, SHE is the one that tested positive. They sent us home with two scripts though since he was showing symptoms. 

I didn’t know what Bryan had up his sleeve but as soon as I heard Miles had a fever too I figured it was going to get called off. 

He had planned a surprise birthday party. He was going to decorate, had planned to put together this cool big birthday card of online messages he had compiled, and invited some people neither of us had seen in awhile. 

Instead, I spent the evening taking care of two sick toddlers while he drove himself to the VA to get tested for strep himself. After waiting for 2 hours the doc did the test but said he was sending him home with antibiotics regardless of the result, so while we aren’t sure if he officially had it, he’s pretty sure he did. 

Two days later I’m sanitizing my hands like its my job, looking out for symptoms myself, and cursing strep throat into the fiery pits of hell.

Suck it, strep.