When I talk to other parents about last week’s snow storm (which will live forever in infamy for tacking an extra week onto our kids’ winter break) two things are unanimous:
1. The kids are getting NUTS.
2. So are their parents.
Aside from the new Disney movie “Frozen,” whose catchy songs have me almost as obsessed as my youngest daughter, I am NOT a big fan of snow and ice.
And I get downright disgusted when three and four and FIVE days after a storm, our city can’t seem to get the roads cleared. (?!?)
With the kids cooped up, our house is trashed. We have puzzle pieces, board games, playdough crumbs, finger paint and doll clothes covering every surface, and I’ve lost track of how many things have been broken thanks to all the contact sports being played in the house.
But I was also smacked in the face with a few snow storm surprises that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Here are my top three:
1. Grown-up Snow Days
In my previous life as a TV news anchor/reporter, a big winter storm meant I’d be driving through absolutely any conditions to get to work, often out in the crazy elements. During one blizzard many years ago, I ended up visiting the ER after our news truck crashed on icy roads. (You guessed it – we were putting together a report on why you should stay off the roads. The next morning at 5 a.m., I was back on the air, stiff neck and all. Yep. That happened.)
But now, I work in the kind of business that can mercifully put things on hold when the weather gets crazy, giving employees the chance to stay safe and sound and out of danger. I’m still in shock. We get SNOW DAYS!
2. A Babe Sleeping in my Arms
Those extra days at home meant that Ian and I knew we didn’t have to get up hours before the sun to figure out how to carve a path for my car out of 12-inch piles of snow. We let the kids stay up later than normal.
Here’s the really weird thing: I actually forgot about the kids’ bedtime. Without the pressure of tomorrow’s alarm clock or tonight’s gymnastics or basketball practice, we all cuddled together, ate popcorn and watched movies. On several nights my 3-year-old, Daisy fell asleep in my arms.
It was delicious.
3. Dogs and cats living in harmony
Normally, if Ian and I catch our 11-year-old Cal and 8-year-old Clara playing together by CHOICE we regard it like a Bigfoot sighting. They are oil and water personified.
But during those frigid, iced-in days, we saw the two of them negotiating a temporary truce. From heated games of mini foosball, to wicked Nerf basketball tournaments, to games of “ride the horse” with two girls piled onto their big brother’s back, I heard more roars of laughter between my kids than ever before.
Once we got over the shock of hearing shrieks that were happy instead of traumatic, Ian and I mixed up cocktails to celebrate.
I am just about ready to toast to the real start of a new year, with normal routines kicking back into gear. But first, I want to raise a glass to the strange and magical things that happened when our world froze over for a week.
Cheers to winter miracles!