Being a parent of young children is like living close to a particular edge in life, but in a fog. It's impossible to get my bearings sometimes. I feel the elevation drop as I stumble into a valley and I wonder, is this fatigue? Mental illness? Or just how it feels between waking and the first cup of coffee? Is this damp, gray feeling symptomatic of winter, or of winter's one-two power punch: the chest cold and stomach viurs passing through my family simultaneously? Diagnosis is difficult, but maybe not as vital as it seems. Full-on mental illness aside, my self-treatment is probably the same. Extra rest. Lowering my inner voice from its shrill panic to slow, gentle murmurs. Feeding myself something besides O-shaped cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches. Dreaming of January's cozy, drowsy pace, and smiling . . . because this is the holiday season, after all.