A weekend bracketed by sickness. Scrunched-up tissues littering the house like injured fairies. Sun shining in on us despite the unseasonably cold weather; April is always crueller here in Quebec that in the other places that bear brownish scarred yet newly fertile earth, already awakening.
Time that seems full and long and slowly inching by: a mini-series marathon of Pride and Prejudice, appropriate for young viewing but too long and verbose to capture the attention of a three-year-old. The elder, however, rapt and questioning: “What did she just say?’ “When will they marry?” “She’s very elegant but vain, isn’t she mom?”
The joy and pleasure of sharing stories on the couch. A compendium of classic Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages, which is filled with wonder and thrall and rapture and curiosity that my children both sat, eyes wide, listening to the metre of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, and smirked and squealed at Rudyard Kipling’s Parsee man and Elephant’s Child filled with ‘satiable curtiosity (“You’re saying it wrong mom; it’s curiosity.”)
Falling back in love with writing and remembering just who I am, how the words flow out, have always flown out and rejuvenate me, just as the stories that I imbibe fill me with effervescence and fizz, the joy of breathing in other lives and experiences and understanding different ways of life so foreign from my own and yet so similar.
Taking time to breathe and think about all of the things that I’m grateful for. The beauty of my girls, cuddles and squeals of laugher. This morning Charlie waking first, as April and Josh stayed up late last night finishing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 7am footfall, lightly padding to my bedside.
“Mom. April just wants to sleep. She won’t wake up.”
Holds up a flashlight for me to assist her with. I comply and she toddles off. Moments later, a loud unimpressed cry issues from the girls’ room: “Chaaaaaarlie! It’s bad to shine a flashlight in people’s eyes!” I leap out of bed and intercept said flashlight, lifting Charlie down off the top bunk where April is now grumpily awake.
A day that slowly unwinds; a tight roll of colourful yarn tossed around and loosened. Little girls coughing, feverish: watching television, wasting their day and yet it’s so cold outside. Is it really a waste? A ring at the doorbell. I bet that’s Oscar. I open up – sure enough, the impish grin. One boot bigger than the other, bicycle resting against our stoop.
“Are they home? Can they come and play?”
I call back to ask April – Charlie has a fever so she can’t go outside.
“No mom. I’m still in my pyjamas.” It’s 4pm.
I apologize. Make excuses. “But we don’t want to make you boys sick so hopefully in the next few days”.
The weather is set to improve this week, a string of little sun icons instils hope in me: things will get better. It’s almost here. It’s almost over. We will be warm and happy soon. Afternoons with the sun’s rays warming our skin as we feel ourselves loosen outside in the garden, at the park, chatting with friends, feeling that change of pace that comes with longer days and the desire to do little more than hang out and be and simply enjoy the life that now presents itself after so many months of frozen hibernation.