Wednesday, February 10, 2010

snow days or, it's all about your point of view

Yesterday afternoon, an email came from the parent coordinator at Jack's school that today would be a snow day. My heart, along with those of most parents I know, sank. First of all, it was a sunny, stunning afternoon and the fact they'd cancel before a flake hit the ground, or was even in the air, was pretty shocking. There's generally SO MUCH HYPE about weather in the media. I believe this is now being called Blizzard 2010 as opposed to last week's Snowmaggedon. Meanwhile, in the west village, everything is remarkably clear. Big, dirty, slushy corners and crosswalks, but that's about it. Really, though, what I was bummed about, was this day would throw my entire schedule into disarray. Full disclosure: I don't have that much of a schedule. Honestly, it was the thought of giving up a day alone. Having a day of people thrust upon me without my having any say in it. Weekends are plenty of being with my family morning, noon and night. It's not that I don't love them. I adore them. I am who I am because I am a mother. I appreciate them, relish them, revel in them, enjoy them. But man, after 2 straight days (and very often during those days), I've hit the Sponge Bob wall, I can't absorb another whine, negotiate another argument, listen to another complaint. Even when things are good, the mess makes me insane, meal upon meal is too much to deal with, the constant togetherness in a 2 bedroom apartment leaves me yearning for a small room of my own with a door. And a lock.

There's the pressure of finding things for them to do. And the greater pressure of snow activities. Being that Jon left their snow gear at his mom's, during their last visit, I spent much of yesterday scouring Manhattan for the last few pairs of available snow pants, so that if the urge to sled or build a snowman hit (they didn't) Iz and Jack would have stuff to wear. Jon ended up finding waterproof rain pants all the way downtown. I found Jack snowboarding pants after hitting 6 or 7 stores. In the end, no one wore any of it. Jon had thought, when he first heard school was cancelled, that I should shlepp them to Central Park, with sleds. I laughed out loud. After all these years together, how could that thought even had be translated into actual words? I wish I was that kind of parent. But I'm not.

In the end, the day was fine. Iz went to a friend's. Jack had a late afternoon playdate. I made it to a yoga class before the studio shut down for the day. Of course, at the moment, everyone's arguing, which, at 7:06 is typical.

But, what I thought when I started this post early this morning, is how differently kids and grownups react to snow days. I heard the news with dread and resignation. Iz and Jack, on the other hand, were thrilled and delighted. No gym! No science! No getting up early! Extra computer/TV time! Hanging out in pajamas! Yet more Sponge Bob!

Shoot me please.

Is it that I'm more rigid as I get older? That I can't be in the moment comfortably? That I'm happier being a parent part time? Now that my kids (and I have to add, husband) are out of the house much of the time, I don't want to go back to the way it was?

I know, I know. I'm supposed to appreciate all of this now because time flies and you can never get these years back and if I don't appreciate it now, I'll always regret it. But, sometimes, these years are draining, exhausting, not in the least bit fun.

I liked snow days much better as a kid. And now I know why my mother was always aggravated.

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