Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Allegory of the Cave

So, it's been a wacky week. On our Friday Sabbath day, the boys and I headed to the Children's Museum, which is sporting a heavily publicized exhibit featuring Bob the Builder. Jackson sees the banners flying from the lightposts on Ponce each day as we drive... anywhere. He exclaims, "Mama? Can we go see Bacht the Builder?" I've explained the proper, simpler pronunciation to no avail. Apparently "Bacht" sounds way more convincing than "Bob" (no offense to any reader out there named Bob).

It was fantastic, and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. I also channeled my inner genius by going at 11:30, just before lunch and universe-mandated naptime for all children, everywhere. By 12:15, we practically had the place to ourselves. It was strange for me because I spent most of my time trying to answer the question: "Where are your children?" I didn't get to interact with them very much, because there was so much other stuff to get their attention. I felt a little useless, but they clearly had a blast. Photographic evidence available here:

Since then, we've been on sick boy lockdown with Jackson. He's got some sort of fever/cough thing that seems low-grade until his tylenol doseage wears off and then he's a miserable little pup all over again. Mind you, I'm writing this on Wednesday and initial symptoms appeared on Saturday. Good times. We did manage to fit in a great birthday party/costume extravaganza on Sunday afternoon, which was a total blast, but may have put our little man over the edge of the balance between health and wellness.

I preached Sunday (sermon posted below!), which, for me, means that our house gets scoured on Saturday. I'm a totally productive procrastinator. Meaning, I will take other tasks that I've been procrastinating on doing and manage to complete all of them while ruminating on current task at hand. So, I took this opportunity to finish AND PUT AWAY all of our laundry and re-arrange our bedroom, office, and living room. It's like nesting, but without all of the nausea and fatigue.

In my chronic rearranging (I do this once a year or so), I scooted our comfy chair with the ottoman into the living room to make this lovely little moment in front of our picture window, right by the heating vent. It's made me start knitting again. And drinking hot beverages. The Fall in Atlanta has come unseasonably early, and we've already started cocooning, abandoning our outside toys and packing away short sleeves. There is also the side-benefit of early onset fall cold n' flu season. Yum.

It was pretty clear that Jackson wasn't going to go to school on Monday, and Cooper was less than pleased about being the only boy to be packed up into the car. He protested and begged, pleaded and yelled, to no avail. Matt and Cooper headed out and left Jackson and I in our cozy, rearranged, clean living room for the morning. That is, until about 15 minutes later when Matt called and announced:

Matt: Cooper just threw up.
Me: [Stunned silence. Replanning morning. Two sick boys. Calculating cans of chicken noodle soup and clear liquids on hand.] Wha?!
Matt: We were pulling into the Clifton School, and he said, "I wanna go home and see Mommy and Jackson." Then, he puked.
Me: [Suspiciously] Do you think he did it on purpose? Did he stick his hands in his mouth?
Matt: Nope. He just... threw up. It's the next step in the evolution of children. Puking on command... instant sick day!

So, they turned around and headed home. We spent the day quitetly and cozily napping and watching "The Incredibles," which is Jackson's new favorite activity. Matt was teaching that night, so super-efficient me got the boys upstairs and in bed by 7:25. I spent the rest of the night teaching myself how to knit again and watching bad tv.

On these days, when one of the boys is sick, Matt and I go into a revolving model of parenting, where one of us swings in as the other swings out. It's no fun, and we're both a little extra stressed about the work we're not doing and the boys we really want to be our full-selves with. I left the house yesterday for the first time in two days, and it made the whole world feel huge. It was my own personal, but far less dramatic Allegory of the Cave. Like everything that happened inside our home was the true reality, but getting outside and breathing the crisp air and moving in a fast car made everything seem questionable and new.

I've spent much of my time since Monday watching The Muppet Show (awesome!), retrieving clear liquids and soup bowls, cuddling with a feverish boy, and praying that this passes soon. Jackson, on the other hand, in between bouts of shivering and hacking, has had a blast. He's loved being home and doing... nothing.

We're on our way to the pediatrician, hoping that this crud will pass before Halloween arrives. Jackson's going as Dash from the Incredibles this year, and he's super-psyched about his SuperSuit.

I pray that he's well. I pray that I don't get awash in a backlog of ministerial responsibilities that I'm putting (temporarily) on hold. I pray that grace and love and time will abound in surprising ways.

I also pray for this puppy, who is bound and determined to change his surroundings. (Tip of the Hat to Matt for finding this on Ezra Klein's blog)

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