I don’t know why SXSW thought it was a good time to have the event right at Spring Break, but what can you do? The powers that be have spoken, and we’re stuck in the city because My Guy has been dying to attend SX (Southby to us locals, apparently) ever since I’ve known him. That also means I’m solo parenting. That, in itself, isn’t so daunting. Nothing I haven’t done before, and without the frenetic school schedule, it should be fun!
I planned on hiking a low-key trail with my girls on a sunny 70-degree day (because there would be a few of those during the break - yay!). I hoped to use our membership at the Thinkery one morning, and then a jaunt to the contemporary art museum, Laguna Gloria, for the free art day so the girls can explore the different media available at the art school there and the beautiful grounds that offer hiking trails, river views and interesting sculptures along the way.
I had also hoped to watch the third installment of the Harry Potter movie series with Little Miss and take her to the movie theater to see “Song of the Sea” on another day. It will be a “Mommy and Me” special.
In between those, we’d have playdates with friends, and since our gym has family yoga and family Zumba during the break, Little Miss and I would be going to the gym together every day. By the end of the break, it would’ve felt like a proper Spring Break - Fun! Sun! Family!
That was the plan anyway. It’s Wednesday now, and so far, of the things I’d listed, we’ve done one - Laguna Gloria - because what I had hoped for us was one thing; what actually unfolded was quite another.
You see, sickness happened. 103-degree fever happened. For both girls. Then croup happened, for one of them. It’s also their first time being sick together, when they’d usually take turns after one infects the other. All this while My Guy goes out for 12 hours every day for Southby, while we also host two guests staying with us for the event, and while I juggle my freelance work deadlines.
Naturally, plans were derailed. My Guy had to take time away from his highly anticipated event to help me care for the girls because of my deadlines, and because sick kids are also extremely needy. Not quite the fun and exciting spring break I had in mind for us.
But we’ve been parents long enough to know what happens to best laid plans when kids are involved. We learn to create Plans A, B, and C, just in case. We learn to suck it up and deal with it. Easier said than done, of course, because it can also be stressful and upsetting.
Yet, what choice do we have? We can sit around and mope or we can choose to make the best out of a shitty situation, which is why I am resolved on focusing on the things that make me happy.
I make healing, comfort foods - chicken noodle soup, pork and ginger rice soup - for my babies. I allow myself to be flanked by my girls on the couch as we read or just cuddle. I’m grateful that my girls like each other enough to play well with one another. But that also means sometimes they make mischief together. Like when I found them grinning at me suspiciously here - they had emptied out a couple of drawers of clothes and hid them under blankets to make the mound on the bed. For jumping. Like it’s so safe. (No one got hurt! See? Another bright spot to our week.)
Why are you guys smiling at me like that..?
I also get to spend time in the yard collecting a crapload of live oak leaves that, unlike its regular oak cousin, sheds in the spring. Sure it’s an arduous task, but it feels oddly therapeutic. It probably has something to do with the warm sun, the bird songs and fresh air.
Leaves, be gone! (Except there are now more on the ground again. Ugh!)
One of my favorite parts of the week was watching Little Miss spend six straight hours re-reading Harry Potter one day. Granted, I was a little jealous. Oh the joy of being able to dive into a good book uninterrupted for hours and hours in the middle of the day. When I do that now, I’m often sacrificing precious sleep.
And Pickle did what she normally does - raid our pantry every two hours (yes, even when sick, this girl doesn’t ever seem to lose her appetite) and decorate everything with glitter glue. Because you can never have too much glitter. Don’t ask me why it’s even within her reach; sometimes I astound myself too.
Speaking of things that don’t make sense, even in sickness my three-year-old tries to avoid napping. One afternoon, I found her passed out on the floor after she spent most of naptime playing in the room. As much as she loves fighting naps, she doesn’t always win.
When evening (FINALLY) arrives, I do like that bedtime is a little earlier for ailing girls, which works out nicely for this exhausted mama.
But then we get to do it all over again the next day when one girl comes into our room barking like a seal (hello, croup) and the thermometer confirms the fever that we suspect from the heat radiating from their little bodies. Another day of balancing precariously in that delicate space between hope and disappointment, work and play, light and dark. Wishing that maybe, just maybe tomorrow will be better. Or the next. Or the next next.
In the meantime, I make a big-ass pan of brownies to try to salvage this Spring Break that has offered neither a spring in my step nor a break from the neverending demands. (*shakes fist at the sky*) My girls probably thought, aww, mommy’s so nice, she’s trying to cheer us up. And maybe it’s working.
Although, between you and me, once they’re in bed, I’m going to relax on the couch with my feet on the coffee table, the pan of brownies on my lap and a spoon in my hand. That’s the plan anyway. But we all know what can happen to that.