Embracing November

This month’s bootcamp theme is “Embrace it!” And I am trying to.

Past Novembers have been marred by illness. I have traditionally entered the month with big plans. Baking! Eating! Family gatherings! Outings! Kicking off the Christmas season! The month starts with my dad’s birthday and ends with Thanksgiving, and I have lofty aspirations for the weeks in between. Typically, November is the start of cooler temperatures here, a narrow, colorful window of opportunity between summer heat and winter rain, and each year I plan to wring the life out of those precious days. And everything falls apart because, without fail, we get sick. And I end the month in a funk because my plans fell through.

This year, we’ve all been sick off and on since July. Anya had diarrhea for a month. I’m not talking a little tummy trouble; I mean stomach cramps and 20-minute bathroom breaks that strike without warning four to 10 times a day, every day, for four solid weeks. We seem to have kicked that bug (cross your fingers!), but now she, Kai, and Daddy have a cold. (Actually, she has a mild ear infection, but her doctor is wanting to hold off on the antibiotics for now…understandably so.) I suspect I will be taking Kai in for his own checkup in a day or so. And today I woke with a sore throat and chills.

Whatever. It’s fine. I did what I could to dodge the bullet (my hands are not yet raw and bleeding, but I’ve washed them so much that they feel more like sandpaper than skin), but some illnesses are unavoidable. Especially when you sleep between two sick children and they sneeze/snot/cough/vomit on you. (Anya pukes when she swallows mucus. That was my 5 a.m. alarm yesterday.)

Rather than get all bent out of shape that this week isn’t going to go according to plan, I will instead focus on getting through my work so I can snuggle up under a blanket with my son and watch the same five movies he watches every day. After Anya gets home from school, we will work on Poppy’s birthday present and card.

Who knows? With any luck, my sore throat is merely an allergic reaction; we did walk around outside for an hour last night, and me and outside never really were friends. Maybe Anya’s ear infection will resolve quickly. Perhaps Kai and Daddy will get lots of rest and feel much better in a day or so. We could all be well by the weekend.

But if we’re not, that’s okay too. We have movies to watch, and blankets to snuggle under. Exercise can wait. Baking can wait. But the days in which they want to snuggle with me and do projects with me are numbered. Those I need to embrace while they last.

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