But I forget that, at first. I wake up, look out the window and see the ice-blue snow. The whole world is quiet, muffled. I can’t hear any cars. I think, Snow, and close my eyes, dreamily.
But then the kids are up and shouting, Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow!
They don’t want to eat breakfast, they don’t want to drink milk, they want to get out in the snow right now, right this very instant!
So I gather their snow pants, their hats, their gloves, their sweaters and scarves and boots. I spend 30 minutes getting the kids dressed for the snow, while simultaneously booting up my computer to start the work day and sending a few feverish work-related emails. I will work from home because the whole city is shut down and the driveway is a block of ice.
But my chest will feel like somebody is squeezing it as my brain scrambles through the list of things I need to do: send emails, call on this thing, check on that thing, make some phone calls, write the results, make deadlines, move mountains.
The kids are dressed, my brain is rattled and I send them out into the snow with my husband who is a teacher and has the day off work. I get five minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee (ooh! ah!), before the whole lot of them are back at the door, covered in snow, wet, cold, and sobbing.
“What happened?” I ask.
“I’m cold!” they scream. “I got wet,” they cry.
“I sent them down the driveway,” my husband admits. “They went head-first. It may have been a mistake.”
Everybody staggers inside, wet and dripping. It takes a good twenty minutes to get the wet snowpants off, the hats, the mittens, the gloves, the sweaters, the wet socks. They are wet and shivering, but the tears have almost stopped. Now they want hot chocolate, they want breakfast, they want something to eat, they want cartoons, they want to sit on my lap, they want a kiss, they want candy, they want whipped cream on their cocoa.
Meanwhile, my co-workers have already sent three emails, asking about this thing and that thing and are you ready for this conference call?
And so it goes.
The kids are out of school all week.
I work from home and I work from the office. I feel like I’ve been running a marathon with no medals at the end of it except a house that looks like Toys R Us threw up on it and a set of peed-on sheets, courtesy of my three-year old, that I need to wash.
But then, my mom comes to visit from Wisconsin. I get two days off work.
We have lazy breakfasts and I don’t have any deadlines, anywhere to rush to, anything to do but enjoy our time together. We take the kids to indoor playgrounds and sneak out for a fancy lunch. She plays with the children. I don’t feel like lying down and sobbing all the time.
Thank God for mothers. And a helping hand.
A working mom’s version of a snow day.