The shimmering snow flakes speckle the quiet windowpane at the front of my cozy library room. I’m cuddled up with my grey fleece blanket in the charcoal armchair with the round ottoman. Behind me stands a row of books.
Sneaky as a mouse, the tiny wide eyed 3 yr old comes prancing into the room, asking me to read. I nod my head and smile.
It’s peaceful and calm as I turn the pages of, “How Big is a Million,” and “Caps for Sale.” Reciting the words on the pages in front of me, Mr. 2 yr old boldly walks to the side of the chair and raises his hands. “Up?” He asks.
In a moment there’s not just one, there are two. Two cozy, quiet preschoolers covered in a furry grey blanket on the charcoal chair with the little round ottoman.
We finish another and then pick up a children’s version of the Nutcracker, and then an I Spy. My wild Miss 3 is as still as a sleeping mouse.
I lift my head and breath it in. Joy.
This is what joy feels like.
A stolen moment with two littles who are quiet and content to sit, to listen, to snuggle.
This past week has had its ups and downs.
Miss LadyBug, age 6, came down with the flu on Tuesday. I knew something was wrong when I was making breakfast. She was sitting at our island wrapped in a fleece blanket. She had her head down. “I’m so tired,” she breathed out a deep sigh. I felt her head. Fever.
I tried to keep her away from the others, and even though she only drank juice, nibbled some toast, broccoli and eggs, and slept most of the day, it wasn’t enough.
I warned the younger ones to leave her alone – she needs her rest.
Still the next day Mr. Middle, age 8, was down for the count. I thought maybe it would stop there.
My hubby had left Thursday morning on business and by that night he was shaking with the chills and had to drive back home early the next day.
And then it was my turn. Friday evening I had a fairly mild cough and was feeling a little under the weather. I woke up Saturday with a fever of at least 102 and feeling pain in my legs and feet. If I didn’t know better, I would thought I had walked a long distance barefoot. Everything was sore.
We found out, Tuesday, that my husband (and the rest of us) have Influenza A – – most likely the H1N1 strain which is going around.
I had plans this week. Most of my plans were left in my calendar unchecked. And I look around at all there is to be done.
So, as I sit here holding the two littlest, I remember this week, I remember 12 years ago when my two oldests were this size, the past 16 years seem to flash before me. Sometimes you have to go on a journey to find the right perspective.
I remember being too busy to slow down.
I remember trying to focus on all the wrong things.
I remember thinking about what is hard.
I remember forgetting what was beautiful.
I remember my tiny babies.
I remember the ones I never met.
I remember what an honor and a privilege it is to raise this house full of little people. From the tallest to the smallest.
In that moment my feet landed on solid ground and I caught a different bug – the bug of joy. And I grasp it with all the strength I have.
It maybe be an icy, snowy wintery day and it might even seem a bit gloomy out. You may be sick and tired and fighting a fever or the flu. No matter where you’ve been or how you’ve wasted time. Slow down, breathe deep, and look around you.
Find the joy. When you find it hold on with all the strength you have left. It’s a strong medicine for the weak and weary.