Who knew that when I laid down for my Sunday nap the plans and intentions I was taking into the new week would be put to bed? On the way home from our annual church business meeting and carry-in lunch, the couch did seem to be calling for me louder than usual. But I assumed it was just the relief of being done with the meeting, even if it did turn out to be relative stress-free. I expected a nap and then a traditional German afternoon family walk. Yes, that would have been nice.
What I did NOT expect was a nap that extended into almost two days of not leaving the couch because of fever and achy-ness. By day three (Wednesday) I would have preferred to not leave my post of blankets and pillows, but was forced to when one child’s pink eye infection ran amok. Thursday, although feeling a bit better, I still would have chosen couch over car, but again was left without a choice when another child’s cough could no longer be ignored.
The highlight yesterday, of course, was driving into town in my sickly stupor, knowing full well this is probably not a good idea. When I turned the corner and found a parking spot close to the doctor’s office, I was thrilled.
“Look, Fenja, that’s our spot!” I exclaimed. The first attempt at parking did not go well – obviously I was too excited and not concentrating. I pulled out, lined up with the next car as Mr. Bauer taught me long ago and took off into my next attempt. Without checking my rearview mirror first.
The young man driving the car I ran into was kind. He calmly pulled off to the other side and waited patiently while I first gathered myself (much to the disgust of the other people behind me), then successfully, if not prettily, parked. The sweat rolled down my side and beaded my forehead, a disgusting side-effect from the fever, Patrick tells me. I must have looked as pathetic as I felt because the young man said, “Kein Problem. Das kriegen wir hin.” (No worries. We’ll figure it out.”)
“Are you crying, Mama?” Fenja asked concerned after the accident “victim” drove away.
“No, I feel like it and had that guy yelled at me, I probably would have. But no, I’m not crying. That’s sweat.”
Today (Friday) I chose to get up and get dressed – I was not forced into it – and even walked Alida to kindergarten. Outside again and well enough to actually take in my surroundings, I was astonished at the colors that suddenly demanded my attention. Here the daffodils were in full bloom, standing at attention in rows of yellow uniforms; there fresh, fragile leaves had begun to unroll on a nearby tree.
“Alida,” I said, “while we were lying on the couch trying to get better, spring came! Everything is blooming!”
I wish I could say that like the flowers the Schmidt family has bloomed into health and positiveness overnight. But it did take a whole week of warm weather to coax the blossoms out of their winter hideaway. You could say we’re peeking out of our sick corners, enjoying longer excursions off the couch and hoping tonight will not be filled with coughing fits that lead to vomiting and regular visits from a small child asking for a cough drop. Other plans like packing and getting ready for an adventure – more about that next week! – and my intentions of getting work done need to be shaken out of their week-long bed. We’re still being coaxed, but sometime soon we’ll be blooming back into health.