Snow days. Awakening in predawn hours to a magical blanket of snow covering the normally brown earth. The tingling electricity of cancelled school and biscuits baking at an hour when everyone should have already vacated the house. It feels like playing hooky.
I used to pray for snow days as a child. Even as an adult, I relish in the unexpected opportunity to snag some extra time with my family on what would have been a routine work day. My husband, a teacher, is always home with us so it’s a full fledged family affair. We love the chance to sit together on a random Friday drinking hot chocolate and changing kids in and out of snow gear eighty times. When it’s the rare exception to be home together, we adore the experience.
However, the ice event that occurred this morning, resulting in school cancellation, is no longer the exception. It is, perhaps, a bit too much icing on the cake. Having just come off a LONG winter break, we were filled to the brim with family time. Filled. To. The. Brim.
We had lazy days where so many movies were watched our eyes were dry and the American Pediatrics Association recommendation of two hours max screen time was on repeat in my brain. We made soups and yummy desserts and slime and crafts and memories. We enjoyed our family time but school began again at just the right time. The kids were wearing on each other’s nerves and it was evident catastrophe was inevitable if they didn’t all get some space. Everyone went back with happy hearts and anticipation about the new year and semester.
This excitement lasted for exactly two days when the flu struck our town and home. #Fluburgh, as it is now lovingly referred, became a hotbed of high fevers, lethargic little ones, headaches, and achy bodies. Our daughter got sick. Super high fever, glassy eyes and pink cheeks. We’ve got this, I said. We took all the protocols, washing hands and cleaning and hydrating and humidifying. Then our son got sick. Then our other daughter and finally our youngest son.
That’s right. All four kids succumbed at once to the junk. Good news? We got it over with in one fell swoop. Fortunately it passed relatively quickly as the 48 hour mark proved golden for improvement with each child. I credit prayer and some serious immune boost oil for keeping the adults in the house from being the next dominoes to fall. (That’s another blog post altogether, though.)
After a great, long Christmas break, we were back in the house. Together. All six of us. Another five days. I will say, due to the sickness, the kids were quiet and compliant. Due to the change in usual attitudes, we had the best time possible when dealing with a hot zone. Doling out Gatorade, washing and rewashing thermometers, fighting with kids about washing hands, begging them to cover their mouths. We watched way too much TV. Sorry, pediatricians but we exceeded the recommended screen time only slight. We obeyed the two hour rule….except we were closer to all but two hours screen time per day. So close.
I had to take a day off from work. Matt had to get a substitute when I had to return to work. Finally, one by one, the kids returned to school. A school so heavily hit by the bug that one day we had a nearly 30% absence rate. But success! We had everyone back in school.
For two days.
Until today, Friday, when an ‘ice event’ landed on our corner of the world and school was closed yet again. Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. day so we are out of school again. Four more days of family fun. I know many of you with quiet, calm, obedient, snuggle giving children are judging me. You would deny it if caught in the act but let’s be real, you’re judging.
What a blessing to have precious time home with your children. What a great opportunity to soak up ALL the snuggles and hugs. What a great chance to play games and bond. Doesn’t she know what a blessing this is? She has this free day and here she is complaining. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Well, judge if you will but I have played all the games, made all the homemade playdough, doled out all the hot cocoa, watched all the movies, read all the books, refereed all the arguments, coordinated all the crafts and entertained with all the entertainment I can muster. I did some quick math and we will have been together 23 of the last 27 days. That is very many days. Lots of days. So much days.
People, I love time off with my family. And I love dessert. But you can have too much dessert and right now I have chocolate cake coming out of my ears.
I’ll leave you with this graphic from a musician I thoroughly enjoy. While I mean Mr. Mac no disrespect, I’m guessing he made this statement without having endured back-to-back winter break, flupocalypse and winter storm.
Cause right now I’m looking at it thinking, TobyMac, you don’t know my life.
**Stay warm, my friends! For those of you who recently asked about subscribing to receive TTM emails, I pulled together every tech skill I have and managed to place it on the upper right of our screen. That being said, I’m all out of tech skill for the year!**