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Enjoying the unexpected: A day with Woody

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

SICK DAY BECOMES BONDING DAY

Woody is sick. Not sick sick, but sick. He was diagnosed with strep yesterday morning for the second time in two weeks. Now that we are more than 24 hours into antibiotics, he's pretty much fine. He just can't go back to school until tomorrow.

This means that I have an unexpected day with Woody. Just the two of us. It's nice.

Woody and I don't get nearly as much alone time as we would like; there is almost always a sibling around. When we do get alone time, we do really well just being together. Oh, we talk and we laugh and have fun. We just don't necessarily need to be doing that constantly when we are together. We are at ease in one another's company.

This morning, after taking Sunshine to school, we stopped at the market for pancetta and Greek yogurt. I caught him spying the ice cream, and we laughed about that. He does have a sweet tooth. We stopped at town hall, too, to take care of business, and laughed when we accidentally exited the building through the wrong door and ended up nowhere near our car. We sat at home for a while and watched an episode of "MythBusters." Then we talked a little about his Science Fair project. I decided to treat him to a DVD for afternoon viewing, so it was off to Blockbuster to pick something – and McDonald's for the rare fast-food lunch. I'll go back to the couch and sit with him some more when I am done writing here. All of it has been so relaxed and easy.

When Woody was in Kindergarten we had a half day like this every week. I would work at home on Mondays and he would occupy himself with a Lego project or a workbook while waiting for or getting off the Kindergarten bus. We'd chat some, laugh. We developed a routine and a comfort in that routine: the two of us with the house to ourselves. When the school year was over, I realized I missed that quiet togetherness.

There are ways in which Woody can be challenging (as all kids can), but this one-on-one time with him is so darn easy and enjoyable. Clearly he enjoys being the only one in the foreground, the focus for a day.

Just now he paused his movie and came in to see how I was, and give me a kiss and a hug.

You can get "sick" anytime you want, Woody.

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