When one of my little girls is sick, there are three options:
- She is very uncomfortable and sad.
- She is mildly uncomfortable, but she is OK resting and watching a little TV.
- She is just fine, but can’t go back to day care yet, because she might be contagious.
As a Work-at-Home Mom, this requires different responses from me:
- Option #1 requires a complete shut-down of everything work related so I can focus on helping and comforting her.
- Option #2 allows me to get some work done, maybe half-a-day all together.
- Option #3 ALSO requires a complete shut-down of everything work related so we can have fun.
My girls get excited when it is a school day and they get to stay home, especially when they feel good. They get excited when they don’t have to share Mom or Dad’s attention. They are SO ready to have fun, it is just too much for me to ask them to play by themselves or watch TV.
The options for fun are limited, though. You can’t exactly show up at the Jumpy Castle place with a kid who is home from day care because she might be contagious.
Hikes are perfect for days like this. Spreading germs is unlikely in the wide open outdoors and fresh air feels especially good to someone who has been sick and stuck at home.
The picture is from a Sick-Day-Hike Sparkles and I took a few weeks ago. I kept the hike short, since she didn’t have a lot of energy. We talked and giggled and held hands. We ate a picnic lunch. She fell asleep on the way home. Then I got some work done.
I think even a medical doctor would say that a Sick-Day-Hike is pretty good medicine.
Find more information about Bull Creek on Austin Kids Hike, this story is from Trail Head #1.
75 degrees. Sunny. Happy girls and lucky parents. And Mother Nature puts on a show. This is our afternoon heading north from Bull Creek, trail head #8.
A baby snapping turtle.
A blueish-orangish perch, just before the fisherman lets him go.
A real-live, swimming, rock-climbing, beautiful gray and black snake.
Birds flying in and out of their homes underneath the bridge on 360 that crosses Bull Creek. (This picture is taking looking straight up at the underside of the bridge, with a zoom lens. No live action of the birds, though, my camera isn’t that good!)
One spot in the trail with lots of trees and shade, so it feels like you are deep in a forest and where everything smells different.
A mini waterfall. (Everything is bigger in Texas except for our waterfalls.)
Splashing in the puddles made by the dips in the face of the rock.
Well, done, Mother Nature. Thanks for a great day.
Find more information about Bull Creek on Austin Kids Hike, this story is from Trail Head #6.
There are certain unwritten rules that everyone seems to follow like picnics with kids should happen during the day. Why? I mean, day time picnics are fun and all, but do we always have to stay indoors after 5pm in the winter? Are we afraid of warewolves and vampires?
Noel, Sparkles, Buttercup and I braved the night-time outdoors at Bull Creek Park. It felt mysterious, like something was about to happen and we might become the plot of a a new bedtime story, the good kind, full of adventure and discovery.
We were extra careful. It wasn’t all dark, it was dusk, but it would be easy to lose each other in that lighting, so Noel and I held hands with the little ones. We explored the creek and rocks and marveled at the high cliff walls. Then we enjoyed a picnic dinner.
Well, maybe it was mostly me who ‘marveled.’ Maybe because I grew up in Houston, where everything is flat, except for the concrete overpasses, or because my first job as an adult was in a town with no public access to the lake it was named after. I marvel every day at how many beautiful outdoor places there are in Austin, within city limits, places that could be in the movies, with a dramatic score playing along, wide screen version only, so you can take it all in.
I hope the girls marvel a little, too. Austin is a very special place, with epic outdoor beauty and no warewolves or vampires to be found.
Find more information about Bull Creek on Austin Kids Hike, this story is from Trail Head #9.