Sometimes you just know it’s time for a change of scenery.
The kids have been sick, so we’ve been recuperating at home, cozied up under blankies. Still I knew that, despite some lingering sniffles, we had to get out of the house.
A few of the clues:
First, I saw the kids giving the chickens stroller rides in the backyard. The chickens were not very cheerful afterward.
Then, there was my Dominic climbing the walls. Literally. This is not unusual for him. But I figured he must be feeling a smidge better if he had enough energy to scale my doorway.
Then, minding my own business, not expecting anything but a pile of dirty dishes, I walked into the kitchen and found the toilet plunger stuck to the front of the refrigerator. Just hangin’ right off. No, I’m not kidding.
“Why,” I asked my children, “is the plunger stuck to the fridge?” Claire explained, “I just wanted to see if it would stick.”
Well, fair enough.
I regret I did not take a photo of the R.P.I. (Refrigerator Plunger Incident). It was one of those I’ll-never-forget-this-as-long-as-I-live mom moments. It was pretty funny — though I tried to look very serious when talking about the bacterial hazards of putting “potty things” on the fridge.
You may be surprised to learn that I was not having a bad day. I found these moments amusing; children bring a bit of whimsy to our lives when we least expect it! My children help me to not take myself too seriously. When I’m coming out of my sick zone, just on the edge of wellness, I start thinking about my list of things to do, and I start pottering around in the kitchen and doing laundry. When they began feeling a bit better, my kids stuck a plunger to fridge because they were just curious whether it would stick! I would not have expected that one!
So, on that day, I decided that I would get them out into the fresh air for a change of scenery, because I sensed chaos was approaching — then we really would be having a bad day.
When we’re sick, our bodies make us quiet, trying to heal. The children were showing that they needed a change of rhythm — a short upbeat aria after that long quiet healing hum. So we found a very short aria — outdoors.
I took them to the nature reserve that we visit frequently. We’re beginning to know its nooks and crannies, and we have favorite spots. I suggested we look very briefly for any signs of autumn and take a short visit to the stream.
Is this a sign of autumn? Sort of pitiful! I think that leaf might just be dead. I dunno. We saw the landscape was changing a bit, but not much. We’ll have to check back in a few weeks.
But the kids had a grand time stream-side. They took off their shoes and slopped around some. The sunshine warmed our backs. The familiar rustle of those leaves seemed to stir us all. The children chirped with excitement when they found (and released) a big tadpole.
We left after 45 minutes or so. It was time. We returned home, the children’s bodies and minds ready to rest.
It was a good afternoon.