The kids and I recently spent a week at my parents.
To be honest, I don't remember a lot of it, as I spent most of it either sleeping or reading.
Not long ago I whined to my Beloved, "It seems like I've been sick forever," to which he bleakly replied, "That's because you have."
And while it hasn't been forever, it's been a good few months and I'm over it. So is my Beloved. And as for the poor kids ... let's not go there. I can almost grasp wellness, hell, I can almost remember it. But not quite yet. There's still a bit of time to go, although I really think the end is in sight. At least, it better be.
Anyway, my Beloved deposited the kids and me at my parents' and I promptly tottettered into bed and pretty much stayed there, with a few trips to the living room to loll on the couch, for the week.
Now, my dad is a historian and my mum is a scientiest, my dad loves detective and murder stories and my mum loves kids books and fantasy and the walls of the hall are lined with books and most rooms have at least four bookshelves and a few unsteady towers of tomes. So I wasn't short of reading material. I found the Eva Ibbotson book that I recently read an enticing review of (Journey to the River Sea) and the Patricia McKillip books I'd been meaning to read for awhile, (Bard from Bone Plain, Alphabet of Thorns and The Riddle Master of Hed trilogy, which I had quite thought I had read previously, but I either grotesquely misplaced it somewhere in the forgotten vaults of my tunnel-ridden mind-bank, or confused with another trilogy). And Mum had just had an arrival of books I'd suggested for the kids from Better World Books, including the gorgeous 'matching' books by Jeannie Baker, Windows and Belonging, which always make me happier just looking at them.
So I dived into fiction. Into worlds far away, countries and times far removed. I'd emerge blinking, smile vaguely at the kids, read them a story (okay, have a tissy fit the time they climbed out of the attic and began trampling about on the roof. They are only three and four and I'm fairly sure my brothers and I didn't do that until we were at least seven. Okay, Pat might have been four or five,) drink the cup of tea in my hand, realise I still felt lousy, and fall back into fiction. Or sleep. It became a little hard to tell the difference between the two.
So I'm writing this in deep gratitude for parents who are there when I most need them, for rooms full of books, for time out when it's most craved. For sleep and dreaming and the intricate delights of well constructed fantasy.