This weekend was hectic and full and overwhelming. As weekends are. I was sick as a dog Sunday, but we had the last soccer game of the season and the party and the coaches’ cards I had organized. I had to be upright and smiling half the day, which was not ideal. And I was supposed to be working the other half the day, which was nigh impossible.
And as we left a lovely party with lovely families, my little guy was hilariously spastic. He and his brother were being goofy along the sidewalk, and I asked them to move aside for the man walking behind us. He smiled, but said it was fine that my kids were crazy.
“I miss this,” he told me. “Mine are teenagers and never get silly any more.”
“I love it,” I smiled, “but it would be nice for them to slow down just a bit. Once in a while.”
“You’ll miss it,” he told me again.
“I believe you. Because it’s seven days a week, 20 hours a day, and I will notice any moment of slowdown.”
I had to lie down at home after managing to be vertical for four hours after a long morning of not being able to keep down tea. The boys rolled all over me and ran screaming through the house and played a raucous game of water balloons with their dad. I photographed the last bit, after puking my sips of water, because these memories never come back, and I knew when I felt better I’d love watching the smiles on their faces as they pelted Dad with exploding projectiles.
And I was sure I’d miss a client deadline today, because I couldn’t work as hard yesterday as I had planned to. I stayed up late, with sips of hot water and mint, and did what I could before I emailed the bad news.
But this morning both kids crawled into bed with me. The eldest asked me about caves and told me his plans for minecraft. The little guy slept. And slept. And slept.
He went along unwillingly to Peanut’s school dropoff. He tolerated my Monday run, and refused all treats that I offered. We came home and he collapsed in a whiny heap on the couch. Without asking for a movie.
Is it wrong to say I’m lucky he was sick? I made the deadline.
He slowed down for twelve hours and I felt restored. I sorted through the boxes their dad restacked in the garage after moving his boxes. I pondered a new organizing principle for my books. I chopped cabbage, diced a pineapple, and made tomorrow’s lunches. I made homemade veggie burgers. I drafted a client ad, swept, planned client blog posts, returned emails, and processed survey results from the preschool.
I’m sad that my little guy can’t get up off the couch. I know how he feels; I was there yesterday. But I’m so intensely glad he slowed down, just for a day.
Kid fevers are like vacation in my house.*
Is that awful to say? It would make a great ad for the don’t-use-fever-reducing-medicine-for-low-grade-temperatures campaign. “A day of peace and quiet brought to you by a virus.”
*For the record, I would never let my child’s fever get too high. He is waking every hour or so for drink, and he asked for a plain bagel right before we picked up his brother from school. I’m not letting my child languish so I can work.
He just happens to be languishing. So I’m taking advantage of it to work.
And it feels soooooo right.
I’m going to hell (if you believe in that sort of thing) for saying this, but when my kids are sick, I always silently muse that life would be so pleasant if they were this quiet, focused, and peaceful all the time. Alas.
I feel terrible enjoying it so much. I do, for the record, enjoy some of the messes, most of the shrieking, all of the silly, some of the playing, all of the investigation, most of the running, and most of the games. But I also really love the fevers.
Not the broken bones or the vomit or the scrapes or the bruises. But oooooooh, fevers.
I think…no, I know that some of my most productive days were rotovirus days and if that sense of accomplishment of finally being able to see the bottom of one laundry basket is “wrong”…well, so be it. Plain bages for everyone!
Whew. The satisfaction of the puking days lingers. Cuz DAMN we get some stuff done, don’t we? Even if only seventeen loads of laundry. Pioneer women, practically.