Last week I was sick. It’s hard, and humbling, and horrible to be sick when you’re the mama. I had hatched grand plans for a week of fun activities before C starts school…and then I came down with a dreadful cold. I find that this stage of life, with three little people at home, is interspersed with frequent stretches where all we seem to be doing is surviving: eating simple dinners, wearing fairly clean clothes, bathing occasionally, and watching a lot of movies. This was another round of that routine. I wanted to be outside basking in the glorious weather, and instead I was walking to my couch with a kleenex box in hand while sunlight gilded the leaves outside the dining room window.

Over the weekend Daddy ran the household while I slept for hours, and on Monday he had to stay home and do more of the same. For rest of the week I cooked minimalist meals and forced myself to do a load or two of laundry a day; for some odd reason, people still need food and clothes, even when Mama is sick. During the kids’ naptimes, I slept on the balcony in the sun, hoping for a Vitamin D cure. The kids ate a lot of meals at the kitchen table with Daddy while I retreated to the couch.

When Daddy was on duty, I napped and sifted through the arid wastes of Netflix instant streaming in hopes of finding something watchable. To my surprise, I discovered two movies I liked (Possession and Enchanted April) and one I loved (A Good Woman: an Oscar Wilde adaptation set in 1930 and starring Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson? How did I not know about this?!). And I succumbed to periodic guilty gloom over what felt like another week of living in limbo rather than building or growing or doing anything better.

But then I rounded the corner one evening and spotted this:

I thought that if my child sits down on the floor to read a book, we must be doing something right. Good things are happening, even when I think life has ground to a halt.

A brother gives his sister a kiss:

Small feet cross under the shelter of a book.

Brothers enjoy a favorite read together.

My daughter absorbs works of art…

…and turns on her movie star charm for the camera.

(I’m still a rookie at editing pictures on my new camera: can’t figure out how to crop without distorting the image. Sorry for that chair leg in the top of the frame. I’ll try not to do it again.)


In other news, Miss E is developing an avante-garde sense of fashion. One afternoon her leggings got a little damp while she was “helping” me water the flowers. (Those things need water when Mama is sick, too…) When we came back inside I called her to come for her pre-nap snack.

“I’m not coming yet!” she called.

“What?” I said. “Come for your coconut yogurt!”

“Not yet! I’m putting on my skirt.”

I ran upstairs in alarm (her dresser is quite stable but I still don’t like the thought of her opening drawers by herself) and discovered that she had indeed removed her leggings (rather a feat, I think), deposited them in the hamper, chosen a skirt, and put it on. This blurry shot gives you the best glimpse at her clothing selection:

She has an attitude about it, too. Don’t diss my style, Mama.

I’m hoping for a healthier week next week–but I’m also hoping it includes more book-reading snuggles and boundary-breaking fashion.