autumn days

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Stretching of Public School Snow Days

In the dark, alone in the kitchen, when my children would usually be dragging themselves around on the floor looking for socks and breakfast, I get to be alone.  My children are sleeping in three different beds without me.  Snow days.  As homeschoolers, snow days meant we got to stay home and play in the snow and drink hot chocolate with my partner, watching the snow and freezing rain fall.  I had already expected to be with my children and meet their vast needs all day.

Public school snow days feel a little different.  On these days, I am surprised to find my young children with me, to get to meet their vast needs all day, while also needing to get my own business-as-usual done anyhow.  I am again surprised at my new full life as a single parent.  For our first snow day yesterday, we had a couple neighborhood children with us so their parents could work.  I was the mother of five children for several hours.  This was a wonderful and busy experience.  Before bed I got a little of my own work taken care of.  Today is another snow day, full of freezing rain-slicked surfaces.  There will be more children joining us, more indoor projects, and less work completed.  Now I know what it feels like to parent young public school children when there are snow days.  It is like much of parenting and life, both bitter and sweet.  I intentionally focus on the sweet.

I trust I will eventually get our errands run, our mail opened, our floors dried, our laundry folded, my meals prepared.  I trust I will somehow get to my surrogate grandfather's memorial service far away tomorrow with the necessary items in hand.  I trust I will find the details needed within my deceased partner's texts and emails to negotiate with the builder of our "dream home" (that we will sell asap).  I trust I have it within myself to get through this day with grace and love and patience and gratitude.  I trust that what is most important will be done.  The holding of hands, drying of tears, filling of bellies, warming of toes, reading of books, stacking of blocks, coloring of pages, cutting of snowflakes, connecting of hearts.  Despite my endless list of tasks, I know it will all be okay.  We are buoyant creatures.  I am thankful just to be alive with these miraculous people, complete with our daily fears, tears, and joys.  I treasure getting to experience the stretching of another snow day with my children.  I would not trade this day for anything.  Such infinite blessings.

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