Back when I was still knee-deep in needy newborns, it was hard to conceive of a day like today. A day that loomed out there, somewhere in a future where children attended school all day and I would have hours upon hours of fulfilling self-reflection and silent contemplation. Well, it’s here. Today is the first day in nine years that I loaded both of my big girls onto the school bus, not to return until 3:00pm. Pass the bon-bons; I’ve got six hours of silent bliss. I will write a novel. I will read all the editorials. I will cook a meal the likes of which gourmets round the world will clamor to taste.
Or I’ll strip every bed and rip up the rugs and douse the entire house in bleach and lemon-scented spray stuff. Anything that will increase my chances of breathing through my nose once again.
Don’t be fooled. These are no ordinary allergies. They laugh in the face of Benadryl, my trusted old friend that typically knocks me out faster than a blow to the head with a falling piano. And the sneezes just keep coming.
My waking hours are spent buried in a box of tissues, and I haven’t slept in days. I swear last night would have been better if someone filled my pillowcase with freshly cut grass and a bag of kittens and then wrapped their fluffy little tails around my eyes as a blindfold.
I have been so busy ooohing and aaahing over the delightfully cool weather and the extra dose of lush rain that I didn’t stop to consider the consequences. Something new is growing out there, and it does not play well with me.
The doctor gave me an appointment for next week, and extracted my sincere promise not to step foot outdoors until then. In the meantime to rid my house of lurking pollen I am dousing every inch with a bottle or two of bleach. Cleaning isn’t really my thing, but if it will buy me an hour or two of snot-free sleep, I’m in. And since I’ve only got a few hours left in this precious gift of a day nine years in the making, I’d better run and dump more bleach into the laundry and see about some dust monsters under the couch.
Yes, these are tears in my eyes. It’s all this sneezing, of course. It’s purely coincidental that this morning I bid farewell to my little darlings as they set out for first and third grade, so big and so grown-up already. Of course my eyes are itchy and red. Allergies or not, that is the price I pay for watching my babies morph into real people right before my very eyes.