This is how life starts over again.
You spend a couple days prostrate, unable to get out of bed except for meals (and this time around, meals are EVERYTHING and important and life-giving, not just bloody hell).
You spend a morning taking the kids to school, the biggest joy there is, and then get coffee with a friend and her toddler and give him the special tour of all the neighborhood toddler spots your own kids don’t want to visit anymore. It’s magic and the rain has stopped.
Of course, sleep doesn’t come, not all day, not even when you want it badly. But it’s beautiful out, warm and the backyard noises beckon (you don’t heed).
By evening you’re tired, but glad for the reintegration of the family unit. You sit and eat dinner, even if you only want salad (with the magical dressing your friend improvised). Later you sneak a bunch of potato chips as a coda, the kids not seeing.
While Young J works on practice tests for his first ever standarized test next week, you take Young A to the balcony. It’s dirty, not swept up for the season. But this is a nice time. It’s time for him to practice blowing soap bubbles again. Spring training. I have no agenda. Let him get dirty, sodden, dripped with soapy water. He gets it, after a while. We shriek as some bubbles escape the railing and we watch them circle the yard. I let him decide when he is done.
Young J has agreed to have first bath tonight. In a few minutes, we’ll be settled with Farmer Boy, which we’re in striking distance of finishing. I hope there will be at least one more scene with food – his favorite description. (Hopefully no more slaughtering of hogs. Although at least we don’t eat those.)
What do I want to say about all this? That I wanted it to happen. That I never figured it would happen so soon, normalcy (or at least a part of it). The kids are relieved by my presence. And they reassure me.
They tell me, “We have seen you laid low before. But you don’t stay that way. So, we don’t give up on you.” I don’t quite know how I’d come back, without them to make it possible.
Thank god that this is enough, and I have never had another pretext in order to be well.