Rowan is home sick today. Just before midnight last night, our bedroom door opened and he appeared, backlit by the light in the hallway, and then … well, you don't need to know the details except for thank God hardwood floors and not carpet. I love kid logic: I think I need to barf. I'll go see my moms. Today, he's home, bopping about the house in his pajamas and seemingly perfectly fine, if slightly low-energy. He's kept down food, he has good colour, he's practicing his tae kwon do patterns and creating bigger and better Pokémon decks and revelling in the pile of books we picked up from the library and the extra iPod time. He's totally happy — a quiet day at home, both parents to himself with , dare I say it, no sibling to dilute the attention.

It's so rare to have just one child around the house with both of us. And despite the extra laundry and the nagging worry that we haven't seen the last of this gastro bug (why, why, why did I decide it was a good idea to finish off his uneaten oatmeal yesterday?), I do like it. One minimally ill kid is so cozy, so happy, so easy. He wanders into my office and hugs me, offers me trivia tidbits. We lie down on opposite ends of the couch with our reading material and his bare foot nudges my thigh. I sent a couple of e-mails, write a couple of paragraphs, fold a couple of sheets, ruffle his hair, and revel in this sweet, quiet, stolen day.