This winter has been full of two things for our team: sick days and snow days.
Just count the handmade stuffed animals our boys receive every time they become patients at the local hospital.
That’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14.
(I shouldn’t exaggerate now. We did receive four stuffed animals on one visit. Because Superman needed x-rays and Super-Spouse was out of the country and the combination caused four children, all who received lovies, to attend the hospital with one sleep-deprived mama — who the hospital receptionist now calls and pities by last name.)
Throw in two weird and wild winter storms that created winter breaks Renditions 2 and 3 (because no one in the South knows what to do with snow, how to deal with snow, how to drive in snow or how to wait until predicted snow actually falls to call off school on account of snow), and our team has been going a bit stir crazy.
Normally, sick days are like snow days. I don’t mind one. They’re actually kind of fun! They both justify crockpot-cooked comfort meals that do not follow the rules of the healthy eating resolutions we made on January 1 and promptly abandoned on January 2. And they give this mama (who usually packs her schedule so full that I recently blocked out “showering” on my morning routine JUST so that it actually happens) a reason to forego the calendar and spend the day kicking back and cuddling with extra snuggly boys on the couch. I absolutely love the book-reading and board-game-playing and tea-sipping that ensues on these sick and snow days, and I love the opportunity to just turn off the daily-ness of life and spend the day laughing with, loving on and pouring into these precious boys.
It’s all just beautiful and Rockwellian and LOVELY!
For one day.
But the good Lord did not give me ONE glorious sick and snow day this season.
No. He chose to give me a bajillion.
So after we recovered from the virus that sent Superhero 4 into a febrile seizure and put him back on breathing treatments for a majority of December, and after the other three superheroes recovered from various viruses they collected along the way, and after we washed six loads of cough-induced-vomit-soaked laundry on Christmas night, and after Super-Spouse and I decided to stop making out so that we would quit passing back and forth the cold that bounced between us for a month (and completely depleted our stockpile of Sudafed), my superheroes and me were gifted with more quality time together.
In the house.
Where, this time because of unplowed roads instead of infectious diseases, we were ONCE AGAIN unable to have contact with other live humans. (We call that extrovert torture.)
And where, after my Play Doh station and baking station and library book bins and snow fort making games lost their luster after the first, I don’t know, THREE HOURS, I faced four VERY HEALTHY and not very sleepy boys who finally felt good enough to wrestle, rough play and basically unleash an entire month’s worth of missed brotherly physical contact upon one another.
All while I attempted to make business phone calls and complete my publishing job from home.
(Pretending to be a professional is not for the faint of heart …)
To be fair, the snow did serve as some form of entertainment for these energetic boys who love stomping, building and throwing things (some of them while wearing a tie).
For 30 minutes at a time.
At 15 different times throughout the day.
Which produced exactly 403 loads of laundry and 296.3 mopping sessions. And zero remaining sanity for this girl who ADORES summer days home with her boys … but was one stick short of crazy without predictability, routine, about 500 more library books and a tranquilizer gun.
Never again in my life will I fail to read the weather report when I see Southerners lining up out grocery store doors to buy bread and milk.
This week, the snow has melted and the sickness has vanished, and for the first time since early December, EVERYONE is now back to therapy and school.
Which is why this week, in between my outbursts of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” I am doing two things.
1. Turning my kitchen into my very own apothecary.
2. Building a snow day emergency kit complete with coffee, ear plugs and plenty of foam padding to coat the walls.
Watch out, sickness and snow. Next time, we’ll be ready.