Are you ever so busy that you wish the world would just stop for a minute? Or that God would dump a foot of snow on the ground and plans would just get cancelled for a few days? The roads would be too treacherous to travel and you’d be forced to stay in? I remember times like this as a kid. They were great! We would get together with neighbors, play cards, drink hot chocolate, watch movies and build snow igloos.
If this were a present day scenario , I’d likely strive to do the same activities and make similar memories for my children. I know my boys would love to make mama stop and have a dance party, participate in an epic snowball fight, or spin the wheel on a game of Pie Face.
But what happens after a couple of days have passed? When the walls begin to close in and our “loved one” is on our last nerve? When the snowball fights turn into fist fights, and Pie Face turns into Cry Face? Cabin fever begins to set in.
What is cabin fever anyway? Sounds like a bittersweet term. I mean, I love cabins, but I despise a fever! According to Wikipedia, cabin fever is a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group ends up in an isolated or solitary location, or stuck indoors in confined quarters for an extended period of time.
The internet suggests some ways to cure cabin fever, which include adding greenery to your environment, starting seedlings, or concocting a home spa remedy. Lets face it, as a mother, and especially as a stay-at-home mom, these suggestions do not seem realistic and we’re thinking more about survival! I like thinking of ways we can have space and burn energy!
My boys love to be outside. The winter time can make it rough. As a rule of thumb, we adopt the schools policy, and see it as appropriate and doable to go out if it's 35 degrees and above. We bundle up and pick up sticks in the yard or ride all of our riding toys! If it’s only cold weather we are dealing with, we often contact friends and arrange playdates. Last year a friend even contacted her church and several of us were able to go and play in their gymnasium.
We also look for spots to go to lunch that have indoor playgrounds. Chick Fil A is our favorite. Our family also pays a small annual fee for access to a local churches’ indoor walking track. That was a lifesaver for us last year! My oldest son, Kason, loved racing me on the track, and my youngest son, Rhett, was a huge fan of the water fountain. We also frequented our library. We would read, explore, and rent movies.
Kason recently got a fish. He was so excited about going to the store to pick out his new pet. He chose a beautiful red betta that he named “Statey,” after his state police daddy. He asked about getting Statey a friend. I told him he'd have to prove to be responsible for the first one, then we would see. I reminded him that a betta could not be with another betta. I told him they just don't get along with their own kind. They will fight each other regardless of gender. They prefer to swim alone and want a comfortable place to hide.
Aren't we kind of like the betta? We could sometimes more peacefully be stuck on an elevator with a stranger than our own family. We know how to press one anothers buttons. And we tend to hurt the ones we love the most. This winter, let's show one another grace. Let's do our best to avoid getting cabin fever. And moms, lets learn to embrace and enjoy the quality time with our betta. Even when the aquarium starts to feel small.