Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Sunday, February 22, 2015

On Snowy Despair and Hopeful Birthdays

The Snowpocolypse may not have amounted to quite what we anticipated over the weekend, but we still enjoyed a nice, long cooping up effect. Actually, in a lot of ways it was really great. We played our fair share of games and watched a couple movies and read books and quizzed each other and sat by the fire and ate until we burst the seams on our sweatpants. I used to d r e a d these times. Intensely. When the kids are small and have next to no ability contain their boundless energy while indoors Cabin Fever is an actual, literal, like, disease. One that is known to reduce moms to fits of wailing outbursts, shaking her fists in the air cursing the sky from whence all frozen flakes fall, random bouts of sweating profusely despite the -20 windchill, deliriously feverish hallucinations of reclining on A Beach Where There Are No Children, and full body outbreaks of itchy, red, allergic-to-snow hives. In more serious cases, she might bundle the whippers up (The Christmas Story style) and throw them out in sub zero temps for an energy sucking romp, (then lock the doors behind them for a few glorious sips of coffee alone). I don't blame that woman. It's seriously a thing.  

As the kids have gotten older these times have become far more enjoyable. I might even miss them when they're gone. Though I could easily live right as rain in The Land of No Snow. 

Still, it wasn't our miss Meadow's finest weekend. Lots of bonding time, with nothing to do but bond, bond, bond all over the bonding place can throw that one in a bit of a bondspin. There were frozen fistfulls of less than ideal circumstances flurrying about. 

I may or may not have handled them with my finest therapeutic parenting skills I'm endeavoring (most some of the time) to develop.


Can I just say? Those techniques take A LOT of mental fortitude and a whole bunch of I'll lay down my life for you type of thinking. 

Sometimes I just wanna say, 

S  T  O  P  I   T   A  L  R  E  A  D  Y  !

I  A  M  N  O  T  I  N  T  E  R  E  S  T  E  D  I  N  T  H  I  S  *explicative* ! 

A  T  A  L  L  ! 

Because, wow. It takes a ton of effort to do things the hard way. And maybe you'd like to just sit by and savor a good, old fashioned Snowpocolypse every now and again. 

As I was talking to a friend online, wallowing in my parenting kids from hard places misery, I was reminded of something I really ought to acknowledge. 

Last week was Meadow's birthday. 

This hasn't typically been a super happy, comfortable time of year for her. Last year, for instance, she took every single one of her presents and put them in a bag in her closet and never pulled a solitary one out to use. For months. And months. Until I *suggested* she *might.* No wearing the clothes, no using the art supplies, none of it. For whatever reason, it all was more than she was able to accept.

But this year? Not at all that way. Girl was a GEM with her gifts. The face beamed! She thanked everyone graciously, smiled an easy smile as she was opening them, brought them home from the restaurant and immediately put them all away, then began using them the very next day. She made beautiful thank you cards, not only for the grandparents, but also for all of us. A tootsie roll with a note of thanks for each of her siblings and parents.

Oh my heart, it grows and wells and oozes hope and love and tenderness and all the joy, joy, joy. My tears, they spilleth over. 

And when the times are tough and the behaviors flare up big and I feel the weight of despair over the future pressing in, I can remind myself of moments like her birthday. 

My girl, this sweet, beautiful, kind hearted, gentle natured young lady, she has come so, so far. In no way at all is it easy being her. Not a single day could I imagine exactly what it's like to be in her shoes. It's the least I can do to buck up and keep sojourning along with her. Even through the damn snow...  

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