This morning I looked out my window and saw mountains of snow with a solid layer of ice stuck on top. A storm day… school cancelled. I sighed at the thought of trying to dig out the driveway and thaw the car doors. I cringed as I envisioned a long, unproductive day spent in a house full of screaming children and barking dogs, with snow boots leaking puddles onto my hardwood floors and damp jackets lounging on my living room chairs.
So many thoughts passed through my mind…
Would the movie theatres be open? If they were open, what were my chances of getting the teens to take the littlest one to a show? If they took her, what were the chances that she WOULD NOT wind up seeing something rated Adult? How many nights of sleep might be destroyed by her subsequent nightmares or, worse yet, endless inquiries about the “scenes for mature viewing” she might be exposed to? Would the short-term gain be worth the long-term pain?
Could I sell the kids on a Lord of the Rings trilogy marathon? How many bags of microwave popcorn would be required to make this possible? How much home office time would I be able to squeeze in between the arguments about television volume and sofa space?
Were there any neighbours that “owe me a favour”? If I managed to wrangle an all-day-out-of-the-house invitation for my youngest, what might the return favour look like? Would I wind up having to eventually offer up a kidney?
What time would the nearest liquor store open? Could I fit a case of wine in a backpack or would I need to McGyver a sled out of a laundry hamper and a couple of old skis?
As I pondered the age-old questions generations of mothers have pondered in situations such as this, a tiny person in a red polka dot sleeper (super cute!) puttered past and peeked out the same window. She squealed in delight, jammed her pajama-footed feet into a pair of boots and tossed herself out the door. The dog followed.
For the next ten minutes, I watched her sail across the icy backyard on a sled, while a delighted schnauzer lobbed along behind her, debating whether to jump onto the speeding plastic with her or bite her in the bum and pull her off it. She laughed. He barked. They were utterly unconcerned about the cold, the wind, or the potential to break a hip.
When she finally came back inside, she proclaimed it “the best day ever” and immediately put in a request for “breakfast hot chocolate”. (Is this a thing?).
Maybe wisdom isn’t a commodity reserved for grown-ups. Perhaps it’s wiser sometimes to put on a pair of rose-coloured glasses and stop seeing only the ice and not the glory of the snow. I may not risk my hip-health for a toboggan-ride off my back deck, but I think I can spare some time to take pictures of my kids doing it. And I KNOW I am having breakfast hot chocolate!