For days I've been cringing when I see wadded up Kleenex on the floor, flinching when a child coughs on me, or otherwise doing that internal eeeby-jeeby dance when I consider the teeming germs that have converged on every surface of my home.
Yet another day has passed with my family languishing in various stages of sickness around me while I remain healthy, and I'm beginning to feel bold. It's like I'm protected in a bubble of immunity, like I'm a superhero who's testing the limits of my powers of superior health, like I'm ready to venture forth and lick a public water fountain because germs can't touch me.
It's getting crazy here. I'm living on the edge.
I'm also paring down our menus, as members of my family arrive at the table without much appetite. Unless they think they still have an appetite, like the youngest child who stared longingly at my grilled cheese sandwich during lunch even though she barely had touched her own peanut butter and jelly. When I gave her half, she took one small bite, fingered the rest of the sandwich, laid it down on her plate, and announced that she was full. And so it goes.
When they're capable of being upright, we play rounds of Parchesi and Racko and Sequence for Kids (so many rounds!) and read storybooks (so many books!) as stuffy little heads rest on my shoulders (so many sniffles!). When those options are exhausted, they watch cartoons (so many episodes!) as I look over my teaching notes or read one of the books I just picked up from the library.
Even though nothing exceptionally noteworthy is happening in my house these days, I feel immensely important. My purpose as caregiver is clearly defined.
I'm the last one standing, after all, and boldness arises from that, too.