Magic Elixir


Early this morning, it snowed.  Oh, just a dusting, but exciting to us.  We usually get our first snowfall around Thanksgiving, but our seasons have been delayed quite a bit this year.  Summer lingered (not unwelcome).  Fall lagged.  Winter, it seems, launched, and before the End of the World, too.

Much to Zac’s disappointment, school started on time.  Ruby, however, did not make it.  She had a fever and a sore throat accompanied by general lethargy.  We hung out and she watched TV shows.  I folded clothes.  We sat together and watched “Charlie Brown Christmas”.  That brought smiles.  She started “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”  I took her temp again – 101.8 degrees.  I caved and gave her some children’s advil.  Less than 10 minutes later, she asked for cereal, and ate two bowls.  She drank juice.  Halfway through the show, she lost interest and asked if she could take my phone and make videos, mostly starring the cats.  Ta-da!  Instant cure.  Now, it was a pajama party!

This is what happens.  You give our kids some medication and they feel better.  Fevers disappear, sore throats become manageable.  Lethargy evaporates. They tell jokes.  They play games on the computer and Skype with their friends.  They make ice cream cones out of paper and scotch tape.  Sometimes they even help you with chores!  They argue with you and pester napping felines.  The medication is a magic elixir.

Right now, Ruby is finding a TV show to watch.  Earlier, she asked to go to school.  Then she wanted to go out in the show and make a snowman.  See?  I hated to tamp down her enthusiasm, but she really is sick.  Truly.  She can’t go to school and participate in pajama day, no matter how great she currently feels.

But…in two to three hours, it will wear off.  Like Cinderella’s ballgown, carriage and white horses, the temporary spell will end.  She will get glassy-eyed and fatigued.  Her smiles will become fewer.  That’s when I’ll hold her, read to her and maybe rock her a little in the rocking chair.  Resistance is futile.  Her body needs time to heal, and rest.

I will still be here; I am not magic. And I will be here when she really is well.


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