The Heart to Heal
I know why Hallmark-- I mean-- Irish folklore put Valentine's Day in the middle of February. It can be a hard month for the heart. It is there smack dab in the middle of drear, when winter seems to stretch its icy long legs and we begin to feel a bit cooped up and Vitamin D deficient to remind us of what is most important about our lives-- our openness of heart, our ability to connect with others. Everywhere we go now we are seeing hearts and beyond them is the promise of spring.
We need a little encouragement as sickness lays a hold of our family, one member at a time falling ill to a brief but violent stomach bug. Everything from colds to the flu to the neurovirus (Did I spell that right?} have been making their rounds across the island. Along with ilness comes the attendant isolation of trying to keep your germs to yourselves. Its easy to feel discouraged.
This time its Daddy. The silver lining has been seeing our son's tenderness and compassion towards him.
"Daddy's not feeling well," I told him.
"Maybe a cookie will help," he offered.
"No. His belly hurts. He can't eat anything right now. Remember last week when you were sick and your belly hurt?"
He reflects for a moment. "Mommy, I want to dress up like a doctor so I can feel him better."
When I was trying to get him out the door so we could pick up some provisions at the store, he said, "You go. I will stay here and guard Daddy."
Being sick can be an opportunity to practice compassion. Ir reminds us to slow down, and put ourselves first. And for families it can be a time to feel protective and clannish and remember how much you need one another.
In the interest of practicing kindness, toward ourselves, and toward others, I want to bring your attention to two great community events going on this weekend.
Friday night the Community Network for Children is sponsoring a free talk on parenting by Jeanine Fitzgerald. I've heard she's amazing.
UPDATE: Due to the blizzard Nemo the Jeanine Fitzgerald workshop has been cancelled.
Also, on Friday Mitchell's Book Corner and Bookworks will be donating 10 percent of their proceeds to the Nantucket Aids Network. So it's a chance to give twice, if you've got Valentine's goodies to buy.
Then, Sunday afternoon at the Chicken Box from 3-5 is a family friendly fundraiser for the Nantucket Community School of Music featuring Earth's Got the Blues. After yesterday's serious fire in the new building at 56 Centre Street, they could use our help now more than ever. So if you want to shake out those winter kinks, this is a great local event not to be missed
So take heart, take care, be kind to yourselves and others, and have a happy, healthy Valentine's Day!