The Journey Back

My son got sick on Tuesday morning, really sick, with a nearly 104 degree temperature. Burning up, hacking, crying that his head hurt.

My daughter got sick, but not as bad, on Wednesday.

Last night I got it. I haven’t been this sick in ages and ages. I wanted to just lay in bed and sleep until the pain went away. I lost track of time.

And today was another snow day. My children, 8 and 10, made themselves soup and read books and watched tv. They did not fight once, as far as I know. I knew that some of their friends were probably out sledding, but I didn’t want to call in any favors today. I just wanted to sleep and wake up better tomorrow.

About halfway through the afternoon, my son came up and opened my blinds. Pale winter light entered my sick room, and I sat up to watch the fat, happy flakes come down. My children helped to clean up the kitchen tonight, and for a while, they sat on the sofa singing a song from school together. They both hugged me good night and said, “I hope you feel better, mom.”

Perfection is not the goal. Perfection is in the journey.

Little Divorce Miracles

We have a three-day holiday weekend, all sports are cancelled, the grandparents are coming to town, and my daughter gets to go out to a special Valentine’s Day brunch with her auntie on Sunday.

Sometimes it’s good to have no practices, games, Superbowl parties, or other obligations. Just family.

Tonight my kids and I piled on the couch to watch HGTV, our dorky new obsession every since we bought the new house. My son is obsessed with demolition – I’m afraid I’ll come home from work one day and find that he’s knocked down a wall. My daughter falls in love with every house she sees in every country across the world, picking out the tiniest points of beauty in each one: an arched doorway, pink geraniums in a clay pot.

And I silently pop-psychoanalyze all the couples who decide to give it all up and move to Costa Rica or Thailand.

I usually decide that they will be quite happy.

My son would not stop talking tonight. He has been chatting all the time lately. I asked him how he was feeling.

“Great!” he said.

I asked him why.

“I don’t know. We don’t have to do anything this weekend! And you know, I feel like I’m coming out of a lot of stuff.”

“What kind of stuff?” I asked.

“Oh you know the divorce,” he answered.

I wanted to talk so much more about it, but I know there’s lots of time for this. I just told him I felt the same way.