Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Day the Clock Stood Still

I had the most wonderful day.

What? What's that you say? Oh, yes, I mean ASIDE from the mass administration of antibiotics and fever monitoring and complaints of sore throats due to strep. Really, aside from that it was one of the loveliest days ever.

You see, we just dropped out of our busy lives for the day.

Yesterday morning the kids were felled by strep throat 1...2...3 in rapid succession. By 11am I had everyone laying about on various surfaces feeling very poorly indeed. One visit to the doctors office, one visit to the pharmacy, and the antibiotics were available and kids dosed up in short measure.

(My hilarious friend & neighbor Betsy, upon hearing the news exclaimed Oh I love strep! It's the best sickness ever! Certain diagnosis, specific meds, and you're done!)

The magic of The Mold worked, and as morning dawned in the Nilsen House today all kids were back to [apparent] full strength, if maybe a little subdued.  Everyone knew there would be no school today, and we settled into our typical holiday routine - PBS Kids, coffee for mommy, and breakfast eventually.

The day slowly evolved from there:  I had no agenda, and knew I would not be grocery shopping, not meeting anyone, not having anyone over to play. They seemed to sense this lack of program, and instead of responding to the void with anarchy (much more typical in kids, including mine), they seemed to appreciate the stillness.

Cecilie made the beds, helping each of her siblings to carefully line up their animals at the foot of their beds.  Lars helped me sort laundry, making short work of Dark Colors, Light Colors and Mommy's Fancy Clothes. Annika splashed happily in the tub on her own, warning me she would "EYVE" [dive] every thirty seconds or so. As the morning progressed, we found ourselves singing along with Marlo Thomas and Free to Be You and Me, making chocolate chip cookies for new neighbors, making pictures for Grandpa's office, typing emails for the first time, and watching Lego stop-animation films online. During Annika's nap, the older kids created an elaborate Lego City game that was so engrossing they literally forgot quiet time was over.

The happy peace - nay, the miraculous peace - continued through the afternoon as we prepared a note for the new neighbors, dropped off our cookies and said hello, and wandered back home for a snack.  I watched in amazement as the older two helped Annika get her own bowl of crackers, and listened as they chatted with each other about 'house rules' for only eating in the dining room, and cracked each other up with silly songs involving the word 'potty.'

Do you ever find yourself looking at your kids and wishing you could stop the clock, just keep them the ages/stages they're in right now?

This was one of those moments:  a definite and not-too-subtle cosmic response to that wish.  With each miraculous hour that passed, I grew incredulous that somehow I was being given this entire day to enjoy my children, my children who will be 2, 4 and 7 for such a very short time, and to know that boundless riches are mine.  RICHES, I tell you - right here in these four walls that normally feel like they'll explode from the chaos.

Yep.  I had pretty much the perfect day.


Cheryl said...

Awesome. You deserve it! And I guess this means you'll keep them around a little bit longer.. ;)

dutchmuse said...

Beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of our son's long ago bout with chicken pox. Air conditioner stopped working. We hung out in the basement with a fan and he had frequent Aveeno oatmeal baths enlivened by a tiny windup speed boat. Lots of reading of books, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and tapes from the library. He was a very good sport even though he had a worse than average case. It really was a peaceful time.

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