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Categorized | Voices and Views

A day in dragon land

Sarah ReadBy Sarah Read

It’s good I love my kids even when they are dragons. Today I found myself telling them both that I would search out a dungeon to put them in if they kept acting like medieval creatures. My daughter chuckled at my empty threat, informing me a dragon would be kept outside, not in a dungeon.

I had a suitable plan for the day. It included a dental appointment for my son that I wasn’t thrilled about, as it was an hour’s drive away, but it was scheduled nonetheless. I also made overdue plans with friends on that side of town to make the most of the trip. Not to mention, I only had to go to a specialty dentist in the first place because, at 23-months old, my son is too stubborn to let a local dentist look in his mouth, or, for that matter, to let myself or my husband brush his teeth. We brush them twice a day, mind you, but doing it while prying open a determined toddler’s mouth doesn’t make for the best brushing conditions. Pretty sure he has a cavity.

None of that matters now, because I had to cancel all those plans. We were five minutes from walking out the door, shoes on and all, when I went to change my daughter’s shirt and saw what could only be described as the chicken pox all over her body. She’s had this unexplainable raised rash on her trunk with no other symptoms and no fever for at least four days. Phoned the nurse yesterday and was told to keep an eye on it. If she was feeling fine, no fever and it didn’t get worse, just let it be. Well, this morning, it was worse. Took her in. Two doctors looked at it and couldn’t tell me what it was.

Keep in mind, my daughter’s fourth birthday is this Saturday. She’s having a small Princess Ballerina Tea Party. Shouldn’t I reschedule that then, I asked the doctors? Oh no, she’s not contagious, they assured me. How they can be confident it’s not contagious when they don’t know what it is, is beyond me.

Got home, called Grand Rapids friends to explain why I wouldn’t be coming there this afternoon. Drafted an email to the parents of invitees to give them a heads-up on the rash and see if they’d prefer a reschedule anyway. Took a call from a new member of our homeschool support group interested in co-op information. While on the phone discovered my son had undressed and torn off his mess-filled diaper on his sister’s bed. Wonderful. Half an hour after that, my daughter had a disaster in our bathroom from the potty seat not being on correctly. Awesome. Between all of that mayhem, the kids pretending to eat each other, and the cat sneaking outside to hunt our chickens… I’m ready to lock MYSELF in a dungeon. I surrender!

Luckily, I don’t need to surrender to being chained in a dark basement someplace, I can simply surrender my day to God and give up trying to control any of it.

My kids still haven’t napped, I didn’t get school in at all yet, they are watching “The Jungle Book,” begging for Halloween candy and I don’t have the slightest clue what I’m making for dinner tonight. But with some prayer and refocus, I’m taking a breather to write this, look at the bright side and regroup. We may start school at 4 p.m. today or pick up school on the weekend instead. We may just get by with emergency frozen pizzas for dinner. And I may feel like breathing fire again before the day is done, but we’ll survive. As Earl Balfour once said, “Nothing matters very much and few things matter at all.”

Everyone has days like these and to lament doesn’t make tomorrow’s sunrise any sooner. I would rather find the adventure in today, because even on the worst of days I’d prefer to be with my li’l dragons, potential cavities and scaly rashes included, than anywhere else on earth.

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