I had Alexander home with me on Monday. He'd been up all night coughing. He crawled into bed with me early that morning at 5:00 telling me he wasn't feeling well. He felt warm, not hot. I tucked him in, kissed his forehead and he fell swiftly back to sleep. He didn't go to school and stayed home with me instead. I was to be headed into the city, but taking care of Alexander was a priority. Besides, I could head back in the next day. I loved the idea of having Alexander all to myself which is rare these days. We ran a couple of quick errands after dropping the older two off at school and he requested to check out a new (to us) toy store on our way home. I was happy to oblige and I even let Alexander pick out a couple of Star Wars Lego toys to help occupy him so I could try to get some work done. We got home and I set him up on the couch with a tray and his Legos. I watched him busily, happily, assembling and I was reminded of a favorite childhood poem.
The Land of Counterpane
When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
- Robert Louis Stevenson
The television was on in the background, more for sound than anything. It was a picture-perfect day for me; one I will savor. When he was done building one of his projects he asked for lunch. Alexander requested eggs and toast and I dutifully made them for him, and lovingly cut his toast into the same strips my mother used to cut for me and called Soldiers. I loved Soldiers with my eggs when I was little too. I made an exception and let him eat his lunch on the couch. And when he was done, he quietly resumed building the rest of his Legos. I spent most of the day on the couch next to him watching intently as his face read the directions, watching his little fingers hard at work... I did not much of anything else. I didn't want to. I was immensely fulfilled.
It was such a simple day. It was such a wonderful day. It was indeed a gift.
The next day would prove to be more complicated, much more challenging, much more frustrating. To read more, click here. But still, I've not lost sight of the gift that was Monday.
It's Wednesday and the skies are starting to clear!