I just woke up, looked down at my bed and there was a sweat-stained outline of my body on the sheets as clear as a white chalk outline from a murder case.
Through the night my fever had broken.
That’s right, I finally caught the COVID. After two years of dodging those coronavirus bullets like Keanu Reeves’s character Neo in “The Matrix,” I finally got hit. In fact, my whole family did.
After an incredible weekend playing in the snow, my daughter mentioned she wasn’t feeling well. At first, it was just a runny nose, which I passed off as a result of rolling around in the snow when the temperature was still freezing outside. But then, she couldn’t eat her dinner and the look behind her eyes changed.
She had a fever of 101.7 degrees.
I knew what it meant immediately. Selfishly, I was discouraged because even it wasn’t COVID, it would mean she’d have to stay home from school.
This was following the past three weeks where from snow or COVID outbreaks at her daycare, she hadn’t had one full week of school. In fact, that means she hasn’t been at school for a whole week since mid-December.
As any parent knows, having the kids at home while both parents are working full-time jobs is a challenge that the parent almost always loses.
That night, my daughter was in bad shape. We set up her old baby monitor so she could call for us if she needed anything but within the first hour, all I heard was her screams from having fever dreams. So I went in and joined her to at least allow my wife to get some sleep.
I knew that was a risky move, but I didn’t have much faith that we were going to avoid the virus.
And we didn’t.
The next couple of days were spent getting rapid and PCR tests for the whole family. So far, we have: one person with two positives, one person with one positive and one negative (me), one person with two negatives but symptoms, and another with two negatives and no symptoms.
How’s that for confusing?
We all feel like crap except, seemingly, my infant son.
The problem it creates for me is compounded by being in the middle of construction at a rental property with the window closes before the next guest arrives. I can’t be over there at the same time as the crew, yet there are so many things left to do. On top of that, I have my regular job. And on top of that, it’s tax season. And on top of all of that, I was hoping to spend my January meditating and marinating on some changes in my business — just leaving space to think.
I don’t know if it’s just now hitting me how being part of a family, and a parent of two, means that I can’t control or dictate the flow of my life much anymore.
But the fact of the matter is, I couldn’t necessarily do it if I were single either.
Bad things are going to happen.
Sometimes a vanity shows up broken for your bathroom remodel and sets back your schedule. Sometimes it snows and your days and their plans get pushed back. And yes, apparently, sometimes you get sick from a virus you’ve been dodging for two years.
The point is to leave space.
In this world, rigidity can be your biggest enemy.
That doesn’t mean don’t plan things out and be organized. But just like an expert with budgets always leaves a little wiggle room for contingencies, we must do the same with our plans and expectations.
Otherwise, we run the risk of leaving ourselves in a constant state of stress and unable to be in the present.
So today I will forge forward and handle my business, but remember that I cannot control all things and will make more of an effort of being in the moment and allowing myself to go with the flow. And instead of the stress, I will choose to remember the moments before my daughter got sick when all four members of my family were fully living in the present, playing in the snow.
Rain Bennett is a two-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker, writer, and competitive storyteller with over a decade of experience producing documentary films that focus on health and wellness. His mission is simple: to make the world happier and healthier by sharing stories of change.
You can read the rest of “Right as Rain” here, and check back every Wednesday on Chapelboro for a new column!