We were supposed to leave for Arkansas this morning. Actually, we were supposed to leave for Arkansas yesterday, but since the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex was snowed in, we put it off.
We're not going.
I should back up a little bit, and say that we managed to have a very good set of Christmas holidays this year. We spent most of Sunday with the Beautiful Wife's parents, starting with a very nice brunch and one of the most enjoyable church services I can ever remember attending. Then we went to one of our favorite Chinese restaurants for lunch, and then we went back to their house and unwrapped presents, and left with enough time for people to rest and nap and not feel completely worn out.
On Tuesday the boys woke up and found that Santa had left them each some presents; they had fun opening those, and playing with them. Then we went over to my parents' house, where my aunt and cousin (on my mom's side) were also staying. My brother and his wife were also there, and there were more presents - and then Christmas dinner, and then a bit of socializing, until it was time for most of the group to head outside in the middle of the blizzard and go see The Hobbit.
The boys were great on both those days. They had a wonderful time, and nobody melted down. Which, looking at it, was kind of amazing.
You see, somewhere late on Sunday, Firstborn started complaining about a sore throat. And that night, Secondborn started coughing hard enough - and long enough - that he, um, set himself off and made a mess of his bed. So in between our two days of Christmas, we took them both down to the pediatrician... where we discovered that they both had Strep. This was... not exactly the sort of gift we'd been hoping for.
Originally, we'd planned to take the rest of the week and make a trip up to Arkansas to see more of the extended family (on my wife's side, including her sister's family). But between the snow, and Firstborn getting just enough of that cough to make me change his sheets last night, we're giving up. We'd love to make the trip and see everybody, but there's no point in trying if everybody's just going to be miserable. So, much as I would have liked to get out of town, we're going to spend the next few days here - probably having quiet days at home, at least until the boys feel well enough to stop being quiet.
Like a lot of grown-up decisions, it's not really an ideal set of options, and it's impossible to know whether or not we're making the best choice. I'm not sure when we'll get a chance to try again, and it's entirely possible that if we had decided to go, everything would have been fine and fun. Sometimes, if you keep persisting, everything will work out. Other times, if you keep persisting, you just end up exhausted and stressed, and wishing you'd been smart enough to cut your losses earlier. So we're guessing, based on the boys being sick and the likelihood that one or the other us is also sick - or will be soon. This is the best way we can see, so we're going with it.