I love my children, like, so much. I am not one of those moms who can’t stand to be in the company of her own offspring.
That is not what’s going on here.
What’s going on here is that we have been in such an intense period of togetherness that I can no longer decipher where I end and my children begin. We have been all up in each other’s business around the clock for over 3 weeks.
We started off Christmas Break with the worst case of the influenza virus that I can ever remember encountering. It didn’t take us all out at once, which would’ve actually been less tragic. Instead it was the classic domino effect, claiming a new victim every few days.
It was roughly 5 days of high fever, the kind that leaves you weak and sweating just from getting up to go to the bathroom. Then it settled into a chest-rattling cough that sounded eerily similar to that of Doc Holiday in Tombstone. And I mean Doc at the end of the movie when he was all white and pasty on his deathbed, not the beginning of the movie when he could still say “Why Kate, you’re not wearing’ a bustle. How lewd”, without coughing up blood all over his ascot.
We spent the first ten days of the holiday break in this manner, caring for each other as best we could, which meant me yelling (hoarsely pleading) from my bed for the kids to “please, for the love of God, just BE COOL, and get along!” before collapsing onto my damp pillow in defeat.
We got out of the house roughly zero times.
Christmas Day was thankfully a delight, and we played games in our pajamas all day accompanied by much laughter in between coughing. Side bonus: the kids were just old enough this year to join in most of the games and when they couldn’t they were happy to play with their new toys.
We have entered a new era over here, folks, and I love it so much I want to kiss it on the mouth.
After Christmas we all felt well enough to travel a few hours to Sunriver, where we’d rented a cabin with my best friend and her family. The promise of snow (because it is actually quite rare in our little valley) was largely what drew us out of town and luckily Sunriver did not disappoint. We spent 4 days holed up in a cabin, eating all the food, playing all the cribbage, watching McGuyver reruns, sledding, and “helping” 6 kids in and out of their snow gear no less than 17 times a day. And by “helping”, I mean sweating profusely while wrestling each child into their gear while they limply did nothing to help, begging for us to hurry up because FOMO is a serious thing when you’re 7 and the big kids have already gone outside.
We had a total blast, and it was downright lovely to unplug and spend time doing mostly nothing as a family with some of our favorite people.
But have you noticed the theme here yet? Mostly indoors. Together. All the live long day.
By the time we got home, I wasn’t even hiding the fact that I was excited to get my house whipped back into shape, ship the kids off to school, and get back into a routine.
I hadn’t written a single word in weeks. I was getting a serious case of word-constipation, which we’ve learned is a real and problematic issue for me, (and also looks a lot like emotional constipation in case you’re wondering).
Now it just feels like I’m saying constipation a lot.
Anyway, as fate would have it, we came home from the snow TO MORE SNOW and as I mentioned before, this phenomenon is actually quite rare in our cozy little town. Basically everyone freaks out at the first glimpse of white and everything shuts down. Like, you better have enough milk and coffee and wine (apparently we rely heavily on liquids in this house) because you’re effectively “snowed in”.
Every day for the next week we became increasingly agitated over being cooped up, and every night when we got a text saying school was cancelled the next day AGAIN, the children jumped for joy while Husband I looked at each other in a way that sufficiently conveyed our (my) lamentations.
(Because he has a day job. That
requires allows him to leave the house.)
It would be different if we could go places and do things or even play outside for longer than 7 minutes before someone is too cold, too wet, or has to pee again and can’t get out of their snowsuit fast enough.
If one of these people asks me to scratch their butt for them one more time, claiming “glove hands” I’m going to just…just….well let’s all be real here, I’ll probably roll my eyes heavenward and scratch for them because I might be frazzled but I’m not some kind of a monster who lets her children’s bums go itchy.
Now, I get it. I’m treading lightly here. I realize I run the risk of sounding like a cynical parent or even a bad mom.
My kids are amazing humans whom I love and even like.
I delight in them, *most of the time*.
We’ve had lots of fun over the break and honestly enjoyed our togetherness as much as we possibly can. We’ve played games, sipped cocoa, watched movies, snuggled up, read books, had meaningful conversations. ALL OF THAT CRAP.
We’ve done it enough to last us for a month.
I am done.
Somebody come take these kids to school tomorrow or I will die.
I hear y’all even have snow down there in the south now. To you I say, enjoy this time. Take your Instagram photos and caption them hashtag blessed, hashtag snowday.
But come close and listen. I am the ghost of Winter Future. Stock up your pantries and gird your loins because things start to get a little dicey somewhere around Day 8, y’all.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Go with God.