When you have kids, illness is no stranger in your house. The small ones bring home everything. As a kid I was rarely sick but I think it was because my dad was an elementary school principal and I had early exposure to every bacteria known to man. We’ve been fortunate to have a very healthy year around here until…until we didn’t.
It started with child #2. Two days later it was #3. Three days after that it was #1. And it just wouldn’t end. Each of them was down for at least a week. We just hit day 13 and it looks like everyone *might* finally be healthy. It has been a very, very long thirteen days.
I’m someone who, as you know by now, loves tea. I love the flavor, the diversity of styles, the teaware, the accessories. I have always appreciated the calm and ritual of steeping a tea and the quiet moments it engenders. And yet, it has been a very long time since it provided the kind of soul healing I experienced over the past week.
After nights spent sleeping in a chair next to a very ill child I would stumble into the kitchen to pack the backpack of whatever child might actually be able to go to school that day or to pour cereal for whoever could actually eat. But first, before I could even think about facing the day, I filled the kettle. I was actually glad that I haven’t replaced my electric kettle. In those moments when I was beginning to feel like I was drowning, the solidness of a kettle and the clicking of the ignitor on the stove grounded me. The hiss and whistle of the steam woke me from my cloudy stupor. The first sip of tea immediately began to heal the pain my heart was feeling. I never felt it in my throat. I felt it in my soul.
Now that we are returning to health and routine (I hope), I find myself even more appreciative of those tins of tea that fill my cabinets. They don’t just please my palate. They sometimes feel like the only thing keeping me afloat.