There is a malady going around my house. We have all caught it. This condition moved in slowly but once it was established it grabbed hold quick. We’re in a horrible state and suffering greatly.
The Clough’s have caught Cabin Fever. And it requires only one remedy; sunlight mixed with fresh air. Unfortunately, for us, the blasted State of Connecticut is coated with a thick layer of mud, muck, sand, salt and the dirty remainder of snow from winter storm “Nemo”. And our sky is not much better – a thick gray atmosphere has covered our sun from sight for days. Our world is dull and colorless.
We are officially out of luck. Or, so I thought, until yesterday that is.
By Friday afternoon I had had enough of staring at the walls of my house. I put my trusty pair of grey mukluks on and headed out the door to get my daughter – remembering to bring her pair of rubber “fireman” boots for good measure. I was determined. We were making our way to that playground no matter what kind of snow pile we had to scale to get there.
These past couple weeks have been really hard on Mia. She is used to playing on the playground every day after school (and she hasn’t been able too). She is used to playing outside no matter what the weather. We play in the snow in the middle of the night. We go puddle stomping in the pouring rain. We take trips to the beach in the breezy early months of spring. Mia was made for the outdoors and this winter has been tough on her. It’s been tough on the both of us. (It’s been tough on her father too.)
We made our way to the playground yesterday through snow piles taller than Mia and puddles of mud almost as high as her boots. As we did this we were given many an appalling look from the passing parents and children who were leaving school. It phased us none. People forget we are used to that kind of behavior on the part of others. We are impervious to rude stares. And when we achieved our final goal of reaching the playground we had fun. Mia showed me yesterday how exciting it can be playing in a filthy slushy mix of melting snow, mud, and dirt. Sometimes getting dirty is just what the doctor ordered.
Unfortunately, I realized last night that we had not had taken the proper dosage of this medicine. To be cured we would need to take the prescribed amount. Another trip to the park was in order.
It was our first time back to “Our Place” since the beginning of winter. My mother joined us today for our trip. The landscape was so changed by the weather it was hardly recognizable. Snow plows had done their job thoroughly – picking up snow and pieces of earth and dumping them along the sidewalk leading up to the playscape. Luckily my daughter is made of tough stuff and we ascended them quickly in order to reach our final destination – the bridge and the slide.
Mia was thrilled. She made a point to play on every object available. She has even mastered the swings since the last time we went – allowing me to push her high. (Her balance has improved so that I hardly have any anxiety over her flying above my shoulders.) We crossed the street to the soccer field where we found a set of animal tracks that Mia intently followed to the wood line – only giving up the chase when I forcefully told her “No.” We had even brought food for the ducks. Being a true Theriault in all but name she wouldn’t allow us to give the hungry birds all of the saltines. Not until she had eaten her fill – three for the road.
The time passed quickly and eventually the cold set in. After an hour in the brisk winter air we packed up to leave. As we said our “good-byes” to my mother and she helped put Mia in the car I realized how perfect of a day it had been; dirty snow, sticky mud, duck poop, animal tracks and all. It was more than what the Doctor ordered. It was way more than the allotted amount. It was perfect life.
And we were cured. Well, for today at least.