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Sunday, September 27, 2009

On swine flu and snowflakes

Snow Day, 2009

This is the problem: they're still flying by. The days, I mean. They sped by all summer, and I expected them to slow once school began, but they haven't. Instead I find myself desperately hoarding time with the too-fast growing children, feeling selfish and prickly about things that keep us apart. Activities. Social events. School.

Confession: I hope the pandemic panic leads to local school closures. I don't want anyone, friend or stranger, to be sick, mind, but I'd love a few unscheduled days with the boys. If an inch of snow rates 2 days off, I feel like medical hysteria should buy us at least a week. Right?

Seven Xs on the calendar for days filled with pancakes with add-ins and playing HORSE under the basketball hoop and digging in the backyard, just in case there's Anglo-Saxon treasure there afterall. A week of puzzles and Scrabble and detailed drawings of brothers battling overgrown aliens with all the parts labeled. Seven days of Legos and Play-Doh and reading too late without fear of oversleeping. A week spent together.

This evening was a school night, so I stopped reading at the intersection of a reasonable hour and the end of a chapter, marked our place, and lay the book on the bedside table until tomorrow. Then I leaned over to kiss the youngest in the lower bunk, stood on tiptoe to kiss the oldest in the top bunk, and stopped in the doorway to turn out the light on both.

From the darkness came the youngest's voice, "Mommy, do you know what?"

"What, baby?"

"I think my bellybutton is like a snowflake."

"What?"

"Because it's so little and cute."

"Yes, baby, it is. Good night."

And the oldest stifled a giggle while I wished once again I could just dig my heels in, hold time still, and stand with them in that moment forever.
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