Yes, you read that right. Chicken pox is my beer. It makes me lose my inhibitions and live an awesome life.
We are naked in the front garden, running around in wild circles, waving at neighbours, making a nest for our Angry Birds. We are dancing unabashedly to the Moto Moto song, singing along that we like them big and chunky.
We are running up to the bath, empty two litre bottles (from my new sparkling water addiction, as I have not had Diet Coke in months now. Sob.) in hand, and that bathroom echoes laughter and science and splashes. Pouring into big bottles, hitting them on the sides to make water erupt upwards, working together to hang out, music pumping in the air.
We are on a pirate ship, Snort’s new-to-him bed, looking at maps and searching for treasure. We are wearing our pajamas to the drive thru, just to get out of the house and get a treat.
It’s silly, really. There is no reason every day cannot be like four days of holiday time. We have no school, no work, and no obligations that can’t be skipped. But for me, I think the chicken pox gives me a permission slip to just live like we want, with none of my guilt attached. It is a glorious reminder of all that unschooling/autonomous education/life can be, if only I relax and just let go now and then. When we follow the sun, when our days stretch before us with nowhere to go but here, we find new and exhilarating ways to fill the time.
We cut straws and stick the pieces in playdoh to make Angry Birds. We read books and nap in the afternoon to the soundtrack of Phineas and Ferb. We sit in the garden and look at ants, we call people up just to say hello, we trace out the spots on his body like he’s a dalmatian or the night sky, covered in a thousand stars.
This first round of chicken pox brought joy and peace to my life.
You’d never know he was ill. Snort was his normal self, just covered in spots. Two nights were hell on earth, but the rest of the time was a welcome break from what has increasingly become an overflowing schedule. Now we are in limbo, waiting for the second outbreak of The Pox to hit our house. I don’t think it will be as relaxed or illness-free, somehow, mainly because Coconut is a very itchy child in general.
But I will not forget the lessons I’ve relearned from this first bout.
This week will be a reminder that we don’t HAVE to do anything. We CHOOSE to do things.
I’ve felt so overwhelmed by the amount of invitations to various playdates lately that I’ve literally stopped responding to texts and messages. I will get back to them all, but never did I imagine a life where we would have more social commitments than all those ‘socialised’ school children. My friends remind me I am a part of this family, of this journey, and if it is too much for me, then I deserve a say. I am grateful for all the people we know, all the choices of activities we have. I never thought it would happen like this, so quickly, and I am delighted and surprised by it.
But I am also grateful for last week, for that one hiatus where no one expected to see us, where we had nothing but time and everything to do with it.