You will be happy to hear that Will has recovered from his bug and is back to playing hockey in the living room every chance he gets. Why a child born and bred in North Carolina has decided to take up hockey is beyond me. We've tried to explain to him that we live in a state that produces no ice whatsoever, but he doesn't care. He's never been ice skating, is not related to anyone who's ever been ice skating or for that matter has had the least bit of interest in skating, ice rinks, hockey pucks, or protective sports gear, and yet, there he is, every afternoon with his souvenir hockey stick and a tennis ball, running around the living room as he announces the action taking place in his head. He scores a goal approximately every thirty seconds. He also on occasion commits penalties, for which he makes himself sit in the penalty box for three minutes. If I'm in the kitchen, he asks me to set the timer.
So Will is well and back on the ice, but Jack got his bug and spent much of Saturday night ... well, you know. He has the only carpeted bedroom, but fortunately his aim is true and he hit the bucket every time. Whew! Tender mercies and all that.
My husband just walked downstairs. His stomach feels funny. He appears to have a fever. Oh, why, oh why, did I clean all the bathrooms yesterday? They are doomed.
I'm not working on the new book, by the way. It is hard to write when everyone around you is throwing up. And I've been doing some school visits. On Sunday, I go to Michigan for a big to-do, and return on Tuesday. On Wednesday, back to work, if the vomit has stopped flying by then. Fingers crossed!
Other then the plague and pestilence surrounding me, I've been sort of enjoying Lent. Is that proper? I've been thinking about what people say about altruism, that we do good unto others because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Sometimes that's true, though I've been so humbled by parenting that any good feelings I have about myself are trummeled by pictures of me screaming at my children like a drill sergeant. Parenthood will show you what a wretch you truly are more effectively than just about anything else, I've found.
I'm working on the theory that when you do good for others, you are closer to being the person God wants you to be, and therefore you feel--more in balance, I guess. When I set out to do a good deed, I'm not thinking, "Wow, I'm such a wonderful person to take the time to do this." Lately what I've been thinking, "This is so much fun, why don't I do it more often?"
Of course, it helps that much of my Lenten do-gooding has involved buying really nice yarn and knitting it up for other people. But I've felt that way working at the soup kitchen downtown, too. It's deeply pleasurable. And it's always a relief to stop thinking about your own self. I guess that's what's interesting to me: Altruism seems less about self-congratulation and more about self-negation than people would have you believe.
Well, I was going to spend the morning cleaning the upstairs, but as it is now nearly fully occupied by ailing males, I suppose I have no choice but to do the breakfast dishes and pick up my knitting needles. Knitting for charity--whoever came up with that idea should be given a Nobel prize.
Vive Le Français!
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