Into every household a little common cold must fall…

People REALLY do take blowing their noses for granted.  Every time I see J trying to figure this simple action out, I am amazed at how something so run-of-the-mill can be so overwhelming for him.

Going with old wive’s tales, the sudden changes in weather have definitely affected everyone.  Not just this cold that is being passed around (yes, yes, I KNOW it’s a virus, but viruses thrive and dwindle with temperature changes, people…we’re all walking, talking petri dishes,) people have been buoyed and then sunk by mock-Spring and mocking-Winter.  Because I am getting older, and because I grew up in the tropics, I tend to bundle up even when the locals are dressed as if for a summer picnic.  I get a lot of weird looks, but I sincerely do not want to feel cold unless it’s absolutely necessary, and I’ve yet to think it’s necessary.

Winter, at least around here, is definitely petering out.  This last bout of cold is undoubtedly equivalent to a toddler’s tantrum when it’s time for a nap.  I can see it.  There are buds on the trees (or there WERE when I walked down to the corner to wait for J yesterday,) and the birds are returning…more and more colorful birds with each passing day.  I’ve seen bees, and we had more rain than snow yesterday.  Let’s face it, a few weeks ago yesterday’s rain would have been snow and would have accumulated significantly on the ground around us.  Last night’s snowfall was, at best, a half-hearted attempt at reminding us it’s a week ’til the official start of Spring.

All this change in weather patterns leads to another transition period.  J will soon enough have to accept that the comforting layers of scarf, gloves, jackets, and so forth will be shed until he’s back to shorts, sandals and t-shirt.  The first few days when the weather stays warm consistently are not easy for him.  If we don’t slowly work our way through the closet and remove all the fleece, therma-skin, and so forth, J will insist on dressing as if he’s going on a Himalayan expedition even when summer is in full swing.  Notice, please, that summer is not yet Summer; its personality, although well-known, is still non-descript, and so far in the future that we cannot treat it as a major force…that, hopefully, will change sometime late next month.  🙂

The smaller-size pants don’t count as transition garments.  Those are just necessary, and J accepts them as easily as he does the belts that he suddenly requires to keep his pants from falling.  The new, lighter-weight shoes (suede booties) are not as easy to introduce.  For one, shame on us, they have laces!  For another, shame on us, they’re not sandals.  J’s closet is now full of clothes that don’t fit properly (t-shirts that billow around him where before they hugged him snugly,) and winter clothes that will have to go into storage, only to possibly get donated by the time cold weather rolls around again later in the year.  The sneaky suspicion that J’s shorts from last summer will be all too big for him this year is ever-present these days.

J’s appearance hasn’t changed dramatically, but that wasn’t our plan to start with, was it?  All we wanted was to change J’s eating habits, get him to exercise and, little by little, see a difference in his weight.  If the weight is slowly being shed, the good eating habits are more obvious.  We calculated the other day, and we’re going through our veggies a lot faster than we ever imagined.  They are no longer being disguised; they are being added, in plain sight, to all meals.  J gets excited when he sees it’s Pumpkin French Toast Morning, or when the eggs are green, or when the jar of wheat germ gets trotted out as dinner is being cooked.  If it’s good news that J is now on the bandwagon, it’s even better news that TGG has jumped on it, and can now be found spelunking “for more broccoli” at dinnertime.  We now make a salad, and EVERYONE has some.

The measuring tapes and quad-ruled paper have been trotted out, and even J is interested in our ideas for the garden.  Maybe what he’s dreaming of is the quiet corner in the back patio that is always reserved for him, and his fake-dironack chair and his music.  Maybe he’s thinking that he can have fresh spinach.  Maybe he’s just thinking it will be warm and he won’t have to be indoors all the time.  Like the rest of us, J has been looking to blue skies and only one jacket with a big smile on his face, but in the early morning hours, when it’s time for the bus in the not-quite-yet-light-of-morning, J wants his coats, his gloves, his scarf, and the comfort of all protection against Winter even if we tell him “it’s already 50 degrees, dude!”  Winter, I suppose, is a two-faced liar in J’s book.

Little by little our problems ebb and flow, and isn’t that the way it is for everyone?  One week everything seems like it’s engulfing us, and the next week we’ve whittled (or wrangled) things to a more manageable size.  As with the Hydra, one thing goes and two more take its place…but that’s the way it is for everyone whether we like to admit it or not.  Our problems and our joys are as common as the common cold, exacerbated in importance only because they are localized.  Today, for example, if snot could be counted as currency, you’d think we won the jackpot.  I’m sure there are plenty of mothers out there in the same situation.  J cannot possibly be the only kid in the world who doesn’t know how to blow his nose, but the fact that he IS nineteen and, well, BIG does make the problem a little less run-of-the-mill.

Ah…I see the sun streaming in through the sliding glass door.  The temperature hasn’t really gone up that much (we’re still at 15 degrees with a windchill of 2,) but the sun is shining…  Time for more cold medicine…of the strictly mild, purely-for-mucus-control purposes variety.  Let the thing run its course, and -like Winter- it will…


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