She finally got out of bed several hours after her husband left. Sun illuminated the room. Peering out between the blinds, she saw fresh snow glittering in the midmorning light. Putting on her slippers, she took a seat on the living room couch and gazed on the landscape outside. The neighbors were shoveling their sidewalk. Hers had already been cleared.The house was cold, so she wrapped herself in a blanket. After ten minutes or so, she shuffled to the kitchen, filled a large bowl with Frosted Flakes, and sat munching as she stared contentedly out the window.
In time, she retrieved a book from the shelf, a Nicholas Sparks bought sometime last spring. Her bookmark sat at chapter two. She returned to the beginning and read past lunch, until she finished the last page with a sigh. Hungry, she nuked a plateful of mini burritos and ate them all, with only a smidge of guilt.
Pride and Prejudice, the two-hour film version, came next. She paused midway through to make a mug of French Vanilla hot cocoa. When the warmth faded from her insides, she filled the bath with steaming water, chose a CD titled “Celtic Dreams,” and soaked, adding scalding water when the edge wore off.
Chips and salsa sufficed for supper, with chocolate pieces left out on the table for her as dessert. She glanced at the clock. Perhaps she had time for one more movie….
Her husband arrived home minutes after the rousing end of Newsies. Her three children raced in and began assaulting her with tales of their adventures.
Dad fell off the sled! We had pizza for lunch! Anna got more turns than I did. No I didn’t! Michael and I made a ramp, it was like we were flying, but Anna was scared! No I wasn’t! Why are you still in your pajamas, mommy?
Two hours later, when she had finally gotten them all to bed, she came into the kitchen where her husband was washing the dishes. She saw that he had picked up the ones she had left in the living room. Seeing her, he wiped his hands dry, and she hugged him.
“Thank you,” she said, enjoying his closeness, the perfect end to the day. “That was the best birthday present ever.”