Outside Is Good

Life has been more hectic than usual; between chicken pox, fleas, and lice, I've felt rather as if I should be best friends with Moses.

We don't have lice.  But our neighbor's daughter does, and my kids played with her the day before my neighbor found the lice.  We've been acting as if we have lice--washing, washing, washing, and treating kids' heads with vinegar and olive oil.

We do have fleas.  They are gross.  I have been washing, washing, washing every single day.  I vacuum 2-3 times a day.  I put down pesticide every night.  When I find a flea on my baby I am so horrified that I wash, vacuum, and spray with even greater urgency.

We do have chicken pox.  3 out of 7.  I keep waiting for the other 4.

But today we took a vacation.  I left the laundry and the vacuum and the pesticides and the schoolwork behind, and we took a family hike.  Little I.10 giggled from his backpack perch almost the whole time.  Kids ran and yelled and jumped and climbed, and I felt the weight of my germy, bug-infested house leave my shoulders for just a little while.

When we got home so that Daddy could sleep before working all night at the hospital, the kids played outside some more.

Then we cooked dinner together: Spicy Bean Soup, Homemade Tortillas, Honey Candy.

Now the kids are playing outside again.

I have to do laundry.  I have to vacuum.  I have to put down some pesticides.

But now I am calm instead of tense.  Now I am happy to work instead of frantic with worry.

A day spent outside is not only good . . . it is essential.

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