By now you have heard the news that, once again, school has been cancelled. Though I don’t have kids at home anymore, I feel your pain. Please know, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I thought it might help you work through some of your anxt if we walked through the 5 stages of a snow day together. After all, everyone needs a little validation.
Stage 1: ANTICIPATION
The warnings start. It’s coming. We are actually going to get SNOW! Real snow, with actual accumulation. It’s going to be so great! You can’t wait to get snowed in with your family! Everything will be cancelled and you won’t have to go anywhere! But first you’ve got to
survive go to the grocery store…OH MY LORD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? IT’S JUST A LITTLE SNOW, NOT ARMAGEDDON! HOW MANY LOAVES OF BREAD DO YOU NEED? But now You’ve got your bread and milk and wine. You are ready. Bring it on! “I just Love Snow !”, you shout, as you twirl around in your kitchen while you make all your savory soups. This is going to be so great!!!
Stage 2 : UNBRIDLED JOY
You wake up early to see that, yes, it did snow as predicted. There is almost as much excitement as on Christmas morning. It’s like a scene from Elf.
“I planned out our whole day. First we’ll make snow angels for a two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie Dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”
You cheerfully find the hats and mittens and snow pants, then patiently bundle your little angels. The snapchats are posted and Instagram is updated with pictures of your precious snowbirds enjoying the snow. There are snowmen to be built, hills to sled, perfect snowballs to be made with cool snowball makers that were not even in the early stages of a patent when my kids were making snowballs. ( not that I am bitter or anything.) And the hot chocolate! Marshmallows and sprinkles and fancy whipped cream; it’s a Pinterest win! And then it’s movie time, all snuggled up together with all your family togetherness. The dryer is running so round two of the snow paradise can happen after the movie. IT’S SO MUCH FUN! The kids are happy and joyful! And did I mention, IT’S SO MUCH FUN! Later you sip your wine by the fire and beam with pride at your cozy family. And NO SCHOOL! You get to sleep in. In the morning you will leisurely make waffles to go with your fancy hot chocolate and you will get to linger over your second cup of coffee. It’s so peaceful.
Stage 3: EXHAUSTION
Day three and you are beginning to get a little weary. Your back hurts from the shoveling and from pulling every kid in the neighborhood down the street on a boogie board. Your patience is beginning to wear a little thin…”I don’t know where your other glove is! If you didn’t leave your stuff strewn around the house like Hansel and Gretel you would be able to find it” ” OMG if I have to run the dryer one more time, I’m going to hurt someone” And by now your parenting boundaries are all but gone. “Mom, Billy is sledding off the roof” “It’s fine”, you say. “Mom, Can I get out the glitter? “I don’t care”,you mumble. “And paint my room purple?” “Purple” you whisper under your breath to no one but yourself; like Brick on The Middle. “Mom, what is there to eat? I’m starving!” “Snow, you can eat snow.” you sob. By now you and your kids have gone three, maybe four, days without showering. Like Michael Keaton in Mr Mom, some of you have been in the same flannel shirt for days. And, you cannot confirm nor deny if any teeth have been brushed since the first snow flake has fallen. “What’s the point”, you say. “I can’t escape. I’m trapped here forever with these people who keep demanding that I feed them” This is so exhausting!
Stage 4: PANIC
OMG! You realize you are down to your last three K cups. You’re not going to make it. “I can’t be with these people 24 hours a day without coffee!” Calm down, you still have–wait–NOOOO you thought you had another bottle of wine. This can’t be right. You distinctly remember buying a case of wine. This is bad. Really bad. Your neighborhood is a skating rink. You can’t go out there for reinforcements. And, another day of no school. Seriously? You feel you can’t do this another minute. Someone – anyone, help!
Stage 5: DESPERATION
Schools closed again. Again. You debate whether you can convince each family in Hampton Roads to shovel a path from their house to the front door of their school. Your soul is as dark and black as the snow along the side of Virginia Beach Blvd. There is no hope. If we all survive one more day together trapped in this house it will be a miracle. You plead. Beg. Please God let there be school tomorrow. You contemplate sending them out to the bus stop anyway so you can have a moment alone in the house; they will come back eventually, right?
Hang in there. There is light at the end of the igloo. Temps are rising and by Thursday we will be in short sleeves again. So tonight, beg borrow or steel one more glass of wine and banish your kids to their rooms–This Is Us is back! See, even in our darkest hour, there is always hope.