Monday, January 25, 2016

Day Four of Snowzilla.

Today the storm has lost a little of its luster; every other morning the kids have been bundled and out the door before 7AM.  Today at 8:30 they were still burrowed in the basement wearing pajamas and playing games.  

Our moods have lost some of their pep as well.

After fried eggs and toast and many wild blizzard days, I wanted nothing more this morning than to be alone for hours and write.  Ben had gone to work (despite my argument that the city is shut down and therefore all people should claim a snow day).  Our street is un-plowed, so we still can't drive, which I've loved.  But somehow Ben's leaving this morning (even on foot) broke the sense of solidarity and the mythology of being "snowed in." 

So, with mild chaos ensuing around me, I curled up on the couch in the house's single spot of sun and scribbled for five blissful minutes in my journal, at which point Maeve began to hover at my elbow.  Weepy and whining: I want you all to myself.  I want you all to myself.  I want you. I want you all to myself.  

A snowzilla began brewing in me. 

I want you to play with me right now.  I want you all to myself.  I want you to come.  
Silas and Eden are right here to play with you.
NO, I want you all to myself.  I want you to come with me.  I want you.

The internal winds picked up.

A small mantra: When about to blow, get outside.

Swiftly, I rustled every little reluctant person into snow clothes and boots and ushered us all out the door to snow-hike our way to Starbucks, where, incidentally Ben was working (hi, Ben!).  

Within twenty feet from our front door, in the middle of the snowy street, Maeve threw herself down for the first time: My legs are brooo-ken!

She trudged 5 more steps and collapsed again.  And again.  We stopped.  We started.  We stopped.  We started.  She screamed.  She cried.  A bundled woman gave us a polite smile and hurried by.  I chewed threats about never leaving the house again and about throwing the bag of sketchbooks and markers we were toting into the bushes.  

She rallied - ish.  

Halfway up the hill her protest peaked, and she collapsed again for good on those broken legs.  I hefted her on my back and we all trudged -- the inexplicable whining now right in my ear -- and not soon enough, arrived.

After greeting Ben, meltdowns about how to take the mittens off, about what to eat -- NOW, we finally are sitting, drinking cups of ice water and watching a video of Casey Neistat snowboarding through NYC behind a truck (see? one of the many reasons we need Ben).

Maeve is dipping napkins in a tippy cup of water, and I am saying nothing.  The video is done.  The kids have sketched and everyone is glazed over.  Literally, they are glazed over.  Silas and Eden are sitting across the table from me staring off into the distance with identical expressions and windburned cheeks, just staring.  

Eden: Is the Starbucks symbol really a mermaid with two tails?
Why did they do that?
Who knows.

For now the moods have cooled.  Sometime, though, Starbucks is going to close and remove us from these safe-haven tables, and we are going to have to leave here and walk all the way home.  Maybe I can lock us in the bathroom.

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