White Dog thought Steve was joking when he announced late this morning that he wasn't going in to work. He wasn't coughing or leaving piles of tissue everywhere. He ate breakfast. In fact, he and YoYoMa even went for an early morning walk.
Quinn sniffed Steve's forehead; there was no fever. Puff sniffed his eyeballs and found everything OK there, too. "What gives?" asked White Dog, not sure whether to be concerned or to get excited about the prospect of having Steve home an extra day.
"The coffee is not sitting very well," Steve began. "My system feels kind of stressed out so I am going to take a Mental Health Day, stay home and not push myself." The White Dog Army let out a howl of happiness and immediately started making plans for Steve's time.
"Whoa, gang! Let's allow dad to sort go with the flow and do what he feels like doing," I suggested. "No matter what that is, you will have him all day and we will be together, but this is a day for him."
The WDA supervised as he did a bit of school reading (the Ethics of Internet Security), then all took a nap to digest the information. They helped as Steve, the organized one, did an inventory of the contents of our freezers to help with future meal planning...and in the process, discovered an entire package of round beef bones that had been stashed in the deep freezer. The boys, Quinn, Yo, and Oso, helped with a bit of physical labor as Steve did a some trimming and raking in the yard and the girls, WD, Nuka and Puff, oversaw the vacuuming of the van's interior. WD and Steve developed some new strategies to improve the slow growth of her herb seedies.
Then it was duck jerky time for the Army and a snack for Steve, followed by a nap in the most perfect part of the day... when the warm late afternoon sun filters into the living room and the ceiling fan creates just enough breeze to make one want to snuggle.
It made me smile to see the relaxed look on the sleeping Steve's face with WD tucked in the crook of his legs and Puff, Nuka and Quinn lying against the couch below him. By the hearth Oso and YoYoMa were curled together as Oso gentle snored.
I could feel mental health improving throughout the room with every soft breath.