It’s a new year and a welcome opportunity to slough off the dead skin that was 2017. The holiday season was hectic for us, full of food, family, snowstorms, emotions, friends, chaos, a reasonable amount of fun, and a whooooole lot of togetherness.
We’re used to the cold in Canada, but it was so prohibitively chilly over the holidays that no snowmen were erected, nor was any sledding or snowshoeing attempted. We did manage to make a hot chocolate run at one point, but the warmth of the beverage was quickly cancelled out by the icy burning of my face and fingers in the frigid air.
The snow fort building and snowball fights we had planned for the kids got replaced by sofa fort building and a fistfight (Thing 1 gave Thing 2 a bloody nose), and aside from visiting other people’s houses, our activities were restricted to our open-concept home where it’s very hard to be alone. At the end of it all, I emerged with five extra pounds, a deeper appreciation for silence, and a serious case of cabin fever.
I love my kids. I do. I think, however, I love them even more when they aren’t underfoot. Recently Thing 2 decided that he’s afraid of being alone (even when he’s in our aforementioned open-concept living room and he can see me in the kitchen), and as much as I want to make him feel secure and unafraid, I also want to run away before I lose my mind and start chasing him with an axe. Without the routine of school over the holidays, I found myself with a constantly orbiting satellite that refused to brush his teeth by himself. I nearly lost it a few times, and I confess that Jack in The Shining suddenly made a lot more sense to me.
Fortunately the kids went back to school yesterday, and it was glorious. But the whole experience made me want to be better prepared for the next time we’re trapped indoors with no end in sight. I guess a good place to start planning would be to figure out what we as parents are supposed to do after we’ve endured 1,000 rounds of Jenga, allowed six consecutive hours of Xbox, binge-watched three series of Teen Titans Go!, turned the living room into a Lego minefield, and bickered over Monopoly, and it’s only day one of a two-week winter break.
In the meantime, I’m grateful for the time I spent with my family, but even more for the start of the school semester. Here’s hoping the weather’s more accommodating over spring break.