Five children are outside in the swiftly darkening evening. The snow draws them outside like an ocean pulls in its waves. Cabin fever has struck us hard and fast. I think we are all feeling a slight letdown after lugging our tree out to the alley and tucking all the ornaments away. I remedied the ache by hanging little white lights all over the living room. It somehow lessens the winter blow. I’ve also been taking some pretty hefty doses of vitamin B’s and D to help alleviate the crazy mood swings I’ve been going through the past few months. Today at the nutritionist there was marked improvement, which encourages me to keep going, and get back to being more strict with what I eat. It feels like the fog in my brain is slowly lifting.
Someone’s head got bonked with a piece of ice. Four children are outside in the winter night.
I stir the turkey curry. Leftovers from a friend, gratefully received from this growing, always hungry family. I check my patient. The ice from the recent clobbering is no longer needed and she seems fine now. A little face appears at the door. Too much cold for her to bear, and now three children are outside on this deepening new year’s night.
The quiet swiftly diminishes as little girls, still full of energy, play their imaginary games. Evening tents are being made with cushions and blankets. The seams of the living room burst as usual. There is no evidence of the tidying recently employed. Laundry baskets are boats and wagons. Roosters crow. Entire days and weeks are played out in five minutes time. Not a whole lot unlike real life. A loud banging on the back door and a young boy looks at me with pleading eyes and red cheeks. He is my lost puppy. He wants to curl up and be warm. I understand.
Two children jumping on the snow-covered trampoline in the dark. Strong wills which often clash and rarely collide in togetherness. Something about a challenge brings them together like nothing else. The challenge of cold and darkness. The thrill of physical exertion drives them to play hard.
More games. The smell of soul-warming food wafting through the house. The sight of square headlights coming to park out front. He’s home.
No more children outside on this wintry beautiful night. Let the snow fall.