cheese sandwiches

Ethan has been sick all week with some unrelenting virus and, admittedly, if there's one aspect of motherhood that I don't exactly excel at, it's sick days. The cabin fever sets in quickly and there are only so many prerecorded episodes of Blues Clues you can watch and before long, your entire floor is caked in glitter and playdough and you decide if you don't experience the outside world soon, you may just go insane. My husband caught the virus in it's entirety and I have been fiercely battling a weakened strand of it over the past two days which isn't surprising considering my shirt sleeves are apparently my son's favorite tissue. Tonight, after his third bubblebath of the day (you know, because sailing the soapy seas is something to do, at least), we sat on the couch and stared at the disaster that laid around us. "Maybe a Blues Clues, mommy?"

Ethan took a break from the TV to look at me. His eyes were red and glassy. "Mommy, remember that restaurant at the science museum?" We frequent a science museum which has a Subway located in the back. "Yes, buddy, I do." "Remember how I always get cheese sandwiches there when we go?" Well, once. Once he got a cheese sandwich there because Mother Of The Year over here forgot his lunchbox on the counter at home. "Yes. I do." "Well, I think what would make me feel better is if we drive to the science museum and then we go to that restaurant and we get cheese sandwiches." It was already almost 7 o'clock and the science museum is an hour away, but it was a prime opportunity to blow Ethan's mind when he realized there was a Subway just down the street. I wrangled him into a pair of mismatched pajamas and we went to our local Subway. "I want some bread with cheese, please," Ethan ordered.

(When I was pregnant with Ethan, Subway turkey subs were my biggest craving. I refused to eat them, though, because of listeria and cold cuts and being the neurotic lunatic that I was (okay, am). There was one day in particular well into the second trimester that my need for a Subway sub was so intense that it brought me to tears, and so I cried my entire way to Subway where I ordered a sub, asked them to heat it in the toaster until it was steaming and then just stared at it. I couldn't do it. I threw it out and spent the rest of the day crying. This story just feels like it belongs here. That was also the last time I was in a Subway, I believe.)

We came home and ate our sandwiches on the couch over -- what else? -- Blues Clues. It was one of those weirdly peaceful, touching moments that made me tear up a few times just because I love this kid so much and these moments are just so incredible. I mean, we were eating Subway subs on the couch surrounded by sensory bin remnants, empty Target bags and clumps of moon sand, but the stress of the day just sort of melted away in those few moments. Ethan kept one hand on my knee as he ate his cheese sandwich and I felt that familiar lump in my throat, the I don't know what I would do without this little boy in my life one, the these moments are too magical to be real feeling that mommies get rippling in my soul. For a moment, I forgot the germs. For a moment, I forgot the cabin fever. For a moment, everything seemed wonderful -- and those moments, they're the ones that convince me this world is going to keep spinning no matter what.

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