Like all of you I am shocked and saddened by the news from Connecticut. One of the little girls who was killed has Utah roots. Her parents grew up in Ogden and her grandparents live there. I like what Charlotte Siems has to say here about the tragedy. You just never know what is going on in people’s inner lives, but we can all be kinder and gentler.
This past week included a lot of activity with me getting a Christmas package off to my missionary son full of Christmas candy and cookies. Then I prepared for my Naturally Healthy Holiday Treats Cooking Class. Then I had my mom’s birthday dinner on Saturday night, then an extended family Christmas party to attend on Sunday night. All of these activities involved food, including my planning, shopping, or delegation of shopping to dh, and then the fixing of the food. By Saturday afternoon I was burned out. In a way I was glad my 8 year old son was ill with a fever. That forced me to stay home with him and take a breath! Sometimes it is just such a relief to stay home even though I was sad to miss my dear mother’s birthday party that I arranged for by calling all my sibs.
I generally believe in letting a fever run its course, as preached by Sarah Pope on her blog here. I do give peppermint oil for a fever across the forehead if the kidlets can’t sleep. But I felt pity for the little guy because it looked like he might miss out on some parties so we tried some speed healing. Sarah says that flu is simply a Vitamin D deficiency. It seemed like he had the flu since he was achy so I gave him cod liver oil. By Sunday afternoon the fever was gone but we decided to keep him home from the next party at his other grandmother’s house.
I will always remember that on Sunday night when I stayed home with him instead of going to the family Christmas party, I actually spent time with him instead of in the same house with him while he did his own thing. He was so distraught that he couldn’t go to the party. I felt sad for him and wanted to make the evening as pleasant as possible. I had been giving him essential oils and cold liver oil all day and the fever had gone down, but to be on the safe side we stayed home. My general rule of thumb is to keep them home until it’s been 24 hours since the fever went down.
First we watched two productions by the LDS Church: The Story of the Other Wise Men and then Nora’s Christmas Gift together on our laptop while we ate popcorn and then I cleaned up the kitchen. Then I let him watch a few things on his own that he chose. We both could have stayed glued to the screen all night, he at the laptop and me at the desktop. But I felt a voice inside me telling me it was time to break away from the screens. Instead of sending him to get dressed and ready for bed all alone, I went with him and read to him while he got ready. I read to him The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell. I can’t believe that after all these years of me living I have never read that Christmas classic. Now I want to read it to the other kids and then watch the movie featuring Johnny Whittaker.
Then I started reading to him another Christmas book. I bought it when my oldest was a baby, back in the days when I had a lot of money and could join things like the Children’s Book of the Month Club. He was only three months old. I was so eager to buy books for my family back then! Now I just get them from the library. But in all these years I haven’t read this book. I feel bad I never read it to my son who’s now on a mission. I will have to read it to him when he gets back! It’s called A Christmas Journey by Sally Fisher and it tells the story of the three wise men. It even has the tree of life metaphor!
Spending time with my sick little boy last night forced me to remember how good it is to slow down and just be with my kids, without baking or cooking, as much as I like that. I am looking forward to using this packet of ideas I got from my friend Mary Ann Johnson full of fun Christmas activities to do with them, besides reading, which I am really good at it. It’s full of fun things to do the week before Christmas! If it’s too stressful for you to buy the stuff to do the treats and crafts, just read the stories and play the games! Like Mary Ann says, the kids will remember the feelings they had with you as you played, not the stuff they got.