Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

Dear Winter, I’m Breaking Up With You

Saturday was a teaser. A beautiful almost 60 degrees and a good deal of sunshine.

I could be comfortably outside minus a heavy coat and felt an extra pep in my step. Oh the possibilities of spring! I can’t wait to plant a garden! Paint my kitchen! Clean out the garage!

Then the next day came, bringing with it that familiar icy chill in the air and snowflakes falling once again overnight.

I’m not even gonna ask you if you’re fed up with winter. I KNOW you are, unless you’re some arctic-loving freak—oops, I mean person.

I have had enough (actually, I had had enough by early February) and here are my personal signs that it has been a heck of a long winter:

1. Kids are starting to get disappointed when it’s a snow day. For real? Yep. They’ve had enough too.

2. Every activity that me, my kids, or my family is involved in has been cancelled or postponed at least twice. Every plan on the calendar I now automatically think of as tentative.

3. Never thought I’d be jealous of someone living in Alaska in the winter, or of the outside event spectators at the Winter Olympics. Now I can say I have.

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4. If I see another Facebook post with a picture of a ruler stuck in the snow I’m going to whack that person upside the head with it. Same goes for the car thermometer pics.

5. My kids’ snow pants are no longer in good enough shape to be a hand-me-down. The snow boots aren’t too great either.

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I finally broke down and bought Andrew a real, not-from-a-thrift-store pair of new boots because I was tired of duct-taping his old pair.

6. Not only do we have a “Normal” school day routine, but a “Snow Day” routine and a “Two Hour Delay” routine down pat. A lot of the snow days I had 2 of my nieces as well. (Yes, if you are counting that is 7 children here and yes I’m still sane. Sorta.) It’s kind of sad when they think a Snow Day at Aunt Rachel’s is just the norm.

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7. Our family has gotten more than their money’s worth out of Netflix. Sadly, we have now seen every single episode produced from several different series.

8. Our van went for several weeks on the same tank of gas. This happened a few times. My excitement over not spending as much on gas is overpowered by the realization of how much we are paying for heating fuel.

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9. I have now heard of the terms Polar Vortex and Thundersnow and can tell you what they mean. My kids are on a first-name basis with all the weathermen and weather girls.

10. I am starting to think we can easily combine graduation parties with 4th of July picnics. You know, a Two for One deal.

Okay, I’ll stop there as I’m sure you are positively sick of reading about people who are sick of winter. I’m sure you have your own list on the topic too.

Let’s focus on Spring and Summer, shall we?

This sign says it all…

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Parenting Tales

Snow Day!

Snow Day! When you hear those words, are you excited?Giddy as a kid? Or do you audibly (or not) moan and groan? I have to admit, I am a combination of all of the above. Granted, the snow is really beautiful, and in one way it’s awfully nice to have all obligations cancelled out for the day and evening. On the other hand, if you’re at the same stage of life as myself, I am now used to having at least a couple of children in school. In fact, this year Ihave all 3 of my oldest in school ALL day.  My littlest two are just in preschool two mornings a week. Tobe honest, I have gotten to where I really, REALLY enjoy having a littl e break from my kids. My oldest is 9 1/2, 10 this summer. Since he’s been born, I hadn’t had any regularly scheduled time to myself. This fall was the first time that I had any kind of “break” on a regular basis. If you’re not to that point in life yet, I can tell you that it’s really wonderful! You learn to enjoy and savor that window of time like crazy. At one point in my life, when my twins were babies, I NEVER thought I would reach that stage. I felt like we were always going to be in the baby stage.  Well, unless you keep constantly having babies, you do get there eventually. I can say with complete honesty that I savor that time to myself, yet enjoy my little ones once we’re back together again. When my big guys step off the bus, I can honestly tell them that I’ve missed them and enjoy hearing about their day.

So, back to my point. Yes, I’m a little excited when I hear that it’s a snow day. We get to stay home (which, when your kids get older, seems to be less and less!) and have some downtime together. On the other hand, my kids tend to be constantly underfoot on those days. We have 7 bodies in a very modest-sized house. I may try to clean an area, but guaranteed minutes later my efforts will seem fruitless. I get irritated and short-tempered. Then I feel guilty for being that way. After all, I should just be glad to have extra QT with my main squeezes. At these moments I have to take a deep breath (well, maybe a couple of them) and remind myself how blessed I really am just to have all these little people in my life. Enjoy them, not just my short times away from them. I truly admire all of the homeschool moms out there. Though others may describe me as “patient” and “cool and calm,” I really don’t know if I would have what it takes to have them all home with me all the time. Fortunately for us, we live in a really wonderful school district with fabulous teachers, many of whom are Christians. For now, I feel completely comfortable sending my gang to public school. Whether or not that will change in the future, who knows? Right now I know that I need to enjoy the moments that I DO have with my kiddos. Forget about my to-do lists, attempting to keep a perfect house, etc.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go out and play in the snow with my kids.