Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Perfect Storm

Today was the first time I had left the house in six days...or was it seven? I've really lost track of how many days we have been snowed in. The kids haven't been to school since last Thursday. School is canceled tomorrow (Friday) and I really wouldn't be surprised if it were canceled this coming Monday because, guess what, more snow is in the forecast. President Obama has made fun of D.C. for its lack of grit when it comes to dealing with snow, and he has a point. School is canceled here if there is even a threat of a snowstorm. But this past week, we were legitimately snowed in. Huge drifts have piled up wherever there is room for a drift to pile up. Most are taller than I am. The kids have been using them as slides. Icicles hang from our roof and the roofs of our neighbors like stalactites, stalactites that could fall at any moment and stab you in the eye. The icicles worry me a little.

Despite the potential for major cabin fever, being snowed in was surprisingly awesome. I have to say, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Life has been so chaotic lately. I feel like everyday is a barrage of scheduled drop-offs, pick-ups, playdates, lessons, and doctor's appointments. I still haven't really adjusted to life as a mom of a school-aged child. And Emma has the tardy slips to prove it. In my defence it is really hard to get three children bundled up and out of the house in the morning before 8:20. Or at least it's really hard for me. Some people are really good at this sort of thing. I am not one of them. Time management has never been my strength. I keep thinking I should read a book about time management, but then I think, is that really the best use of my time? Maybe I should listen to a book on time management on my iPod? Maybe while I'm working out or cooking dinner? Now, that would be really efficient.

Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, the snowstorm. It was just so wonderful not to have to be anywhere for a whole week, to be told, don't go anywhere. Stay where you are, please. was bliss.

It was also really nice to just hang out with my family and realize how much I love them. It's so easy to love them when I'm not yelling about lost mittens or complaining that someone left a shoe four flights of stairs up when we only have five minutes to get to school. They aren't nearly as lovable then. And neither am I.

I loved them so much this past week that I cooked them all kinds of delicious carbohydrates. We feasted on chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, breakfast tacos, pasta, chili, macaroni and cheese, carrot oatmeal muffins...the list goes on. This past week I made bread for the first time ever. It's not something I could see myself making when I wasn't snowed in. It takes a lot of coddling and tucking in and being handled just right. It's sort of like babysitting someone else's infant, making your first loaf of bread. But with the snow falling serenely outside my kitchen window and the kids drawing at their art table, baking bread was just the most obvious, natural thing I could do. It felt so luxurious to have the time to devote to bread.

I'm kind of sad for the storm to be over. This past week, we fed ourselves well and then sat around and read books, did crafts, talked, had tea parties, played in the snow and watched movies. Would it be so terrible if life were like that all the time? I'm not ready for real life to return. I like the idea of our house being its own little island, our family the only inhabitants, with nothing but time on our hands.
The snowstorm has made me think a lot about homeschooling and whether or not this is how it would be if we homeschooled. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be like being snowed in. We'd still have to go places even if we homeschooled. I'd still have to yell about mittens, etc. And it's not like we officially learned much this past week, so I don't know how good of a teacher I'd really be to my own children. In a perfect world, I wish my kids could go to school for a few days a week. They'd learn stuff from some other people for a while and then they'd come home to me and we'd bake bread and talk and read some books and learn stuff that way.

Being snowed in taught me that I like life at a slower pace, preferably a bread-making pace. I want to try to achieve that as much as possible once school starts again. I hope we can do it.

Emma, standing in front of a huge pile of snow in front of our townhouse


maryanne @ mama smiles said...

That is a LOT of snow! I love slow days when we can just enjoy being a family.

Annie said...

I felt the same way during the snowstorm. It was wonderful to all be home, to be together and to have whatever happen happen outside as we were all inside cuddled up. We even lost power for 16 hour but tried to make the most of it. Oh well, back to reality, I guess! I hope you're all well!

Grace said...

Last week it snowed about two inches in Texas on Tuesday. Too bad our teacher is from Iowa because we only got to go out for 5 minutes.
By the end of school it had mostly melted at my house.
WOW!!! I wish I was in D.C. when the snowstorm hit.