Last night I was up until the early hours of the morning trapped in an anticipation fueled cycle of checking the weather app on my phone and stepping out onto the back porch to monitor the various forms of winter precipitation as they fell from the sky.
Is snow a body of water? Social media loves pictures of feet next to bodies of water.
My days are numbered
Even now in my thirties I can’t help but get excited about the prospect of a snow day. I guess it should be prefaced that I am a born and raised Georgian and in Georgia, snow is magic. When I was a kid, snow in Atlanta was like the universe just giving you an extra day.
A free day. A magic 24 hour period inserted between, “Oh crap, I haven’t even started that book report yet” and “Please turn in your book reports.” It meant your parents stayed home from work and played outside with you, it meant supplementing your not so winter wardrobe with bread bags on your feet and 3 pairs of socks because you had to wear tennis shoes in the snow, it meant hot chocolate and wet gloves hanging by the fire. Snow days in Georgia are made of happy even when your mom makes you wear a pair of tube socks for gloves with sandwich baggies on top because why would you need to own ski gloves down south? Snow days meant rummaging through the basement looking for anything that could be turned into a sled and playing until your hands were numb, your cheeks were red and you collapsed into the house one big freezing, soaking, pile of exhausted joy at the end of the day.
We’ve Lost that Lovin Feelin
Remember that time that our kids went to school? I think it was called 2013 and it was neat. I admit I went a bit overboard on the whole waxing poetic about the wonder of snow up there because the truth is, when a snow day overstays its welcome, the harsh reality sets in. This is the part when you see what you are really made of, when the loving family dynamic gets put to the ultimate test. Cabin Fever.
I admit using a pic from The Shining is a bit too obvious but some things are obvious because they are right.
It starts out innocent enough; a board game, an extra snack, a glass of wine or beer a bit earlier in the day than usual, a sarcastic remark to your spouse, a snap at your kid for making a mess. We don’t catch any of the warning signs because we don’t know how long we will be here. Somewhere along the way the sanity rope feels like it is starting to fray a bit and the local weather man showing the snow in his area becomes some bizarre backdrop back drop to your family’s de-evolution.
In what feels like an instant you are turning a blind eye to your kid eating a bowl of “skittles cereal” and you are dreaming about that Amazon droid helicopter thing delivering a case of booze to your frozen snowy doorstep. You become a bit numb to what your kids are up to as long as they keep it down and don’t get blood on anything as you settle into your own little wi-fi fueled haze. Cycling through social media, weather apps, and random google searches, you are suddenly curious if the U.S. just invented slopestyle to pad our Olympic stats. Eventually you start to wonder how long you have been sitting there. When did I take a shower last? Why are my children’s collective worldly possessions all in the living room? Did I just eat this entire can of Pringles? How long have I been wearing these pajama pants? Is it still snowing? No school again? What day is it? What year is it? Netflix is the only one in this house that truly understands me. How many lunches have we had today? Is there anything left my kids haven’t fought about?
Sound familiar? You start organizing games like the nap game and the prize is whichever kid falls asleep first doesn’t get a spanking. You gather the family around the table to work on a 1000 piece argument. You start wondering if you should send the internet a Valentine’s day card. You try to make the best of it by thinking of all of the great family memories the snow storm has provided but get interrupted because now that your kids have not played with every single toy that they have, they have resorted to taking breaks from fighting and crying to climb on stuff and jump off of furniture and you are pretty sure you need to find an ACE bandage so you can tie them up with it and MAKE IT STOP.
RIP Snowman, gunned down by the glorious thaw.
Being cooped up for days on end can push us right to that edge but somehow we hold on. Sibling rivalry wears itself out and sleep gives us the short respite we so desperately need. The thaw is coming and we just have to hang on and one day we will look back and only see the happy. When you are in the moment though, cabin fever is completely weak.
19 Comments | tags: activities, Atlanta, Blog, cabin fever, family, food, funny, Georgia, humor, ice., kids, netflix, Pax, Random, relationships, siblings, snow, snowman, technology, valentines day, weather, wi-fi | posted in Uncategorized
School supplies were kind of my jam back in the day. In fact, even now whenever I enter serious business negotiations, I always lead with slowly splitting the Velcro seal on my Transformers Trapper Keeper in order to let the intimidation set in. You other professionals can have your leather padfolios but I bet they don’t have a built-in pencil-case or a secret milk money pocket.
I always liked school supplies because the idea of organization is very appealing to me. It is the execution of said organization that I find dreadfully boring and difficult to maintain. The first day of school was always my most organized day of the year because my backpack was full of fresh pencils and unbent folders and all of my crayons were present and accounted for in a box with no frayed and torn edges. Basically by day two, I had doodled on all of my folders, lost three crayons, spilled my glue and managed to crumple every important handout into one paper lump in the bottom of my Jansport.
The first day of school was also the day that my shoes were the cleanest which meant I was at the apex of my jumping and running abilities. Maybe the first night or so I would get home and try to rub out the new scuffs with a wet paper towel but by the end of the week they looked like those Nikes that Forrest Gump ran across the country in. Only they weren’t Nikes, they were Pro-Wings which were similar to Nikes only the swoosh went the other way, the colors weren’t as cool, and they cost about 20% of what Nikes did.
I loved the new school supplies because regardless of their looming destiny of being lost, broken, or crumpled, for that brief moment they were pristine and full of promise. Not to overload the Tom Hanks references but I think he summed up the allure of new school supplies best when his character Joe Fox told Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.” Much like a bouquet of flowers, my pencils would wither and die in no time but for that moment they were perfect. There is a little bit of magic in that first day of school as you feel your independence start to swell inside of you and realize that you will have a hand in charting your own course. Even if it is only that you are in charge of your pencils and glue sticks, you are still the boss of something.
I don’t know if you remember the last time you had one of those little lumps form in the back of your throat but my daughter started first grade today, so for me it was this morning. Regardless of their inevitable demise, the perfectness of brand new school supplies is totally sweet.
When The Fat Lady Sings
Yep, you read that last part right. Today the high in Atlanta is 90 degrees and kids are headed back to school. Where does the time go? Sure, they get out at the beginning of May now but it still just doesn’t feel right. While I will admit that the first day of school can be sweet, it pales in comparison to the weakness of the last day of summer vacation. The last day of summer vacation is like the Sunday night blues times infinity. You start to worry that they might have really been serious about that summer reading list but there is no use in starting now and you suddenly feel like you didn’t chew near enough gum during the summer and it is about to be forbidden.
You try to look on the bright side and consider your new kicks and school clothes but no matter what your mom says, you know that the little knight on the horse holding a flag on your Knights of the Round Table shirt looks nothing like the real Polo logo. At least you were able to avoid the Rose Art crayon incident of last year and you got your mom to spring for some Crayolas (not that anyone forgot your loser crayons).
You don’t even consider it at the time because you are excited about your new duds but somewhere around getting off the bus, you realize you are that kid that wore his back to school sweater and stiff dark blue Rustler jeans even though it is August and almost 100 degrees outside. Your new supplies are nice but eventually you realize that your Trapper Keeper must have been last year’s model on clearance because it didn’t come with a glow in the dark protractor or vinyl mesh pocket on the inside. Quickly any first day magic fades away and cold hard fact that summer is over washes over you.
I guess there are two kinds of people in the world, those that call it the night before the first day of school, and those that call it the last day of summer vacation. For me, I was like a sailor watching his final day of shore leave evaporate around him. That day was always a last day and never a day before a first. I suppose book learnin’ is still important so off to school they go but when the fat lady is entering the final chorus of your summer of freedom, it is totally weak.
44 Comments | tags: childhood, family, fashion, humor, parenthood, school, shoes, summer, supplies, weather | posted in Uncategorized