Cabin fever has spiked. The winter roars outside. The bears have broken in, and they are my children. Wild things, stomping and raging and growling, upending the furniture and scattering the morning’s broken pieces all over the floor. Snow days and sick days have kept us inside for far too long, and the walls are pushing in. These shaggy-haired creatures are chasing me with whining, irrational demands for kids’ shows! and softer toast! and smaller pirates! If their evil plan is to turn mama into a grizzly, it’s working.
I want to roar. I want to toss them out into a snowbank. Or perhaps stuff and mount silent over the mantle?
But then, the littlest cub wanders over, blankie and teddy in hand. He is wearing flannel bear jammies.
“I need uppie.”
“I need a bear hug,” I tell him, scooping him up.
Somehow in the embrace, we feel human again. Sticky paws turn to patting hands, the gnash of terrible teeth to a smile. This grizzly mama begins to melt. The fever breaks. Maybe, just maybe, I can see the end of winter after all.