Never thought I would say that. If we could travel back in time to fourth grade Lauren, who lives in Colorado and remembers having school cancelled for snow like two times because either we were much, much tougher then or I just don’t remember things very well, and told her that she’d now be home for the FOURTH CONSECUTIVE DAY with her own kids after it snowed just 2 inches (which is rounding up generously), well, I think she’d be baffled. But grateful. Because who doesn’t love a snow day?
Grown-up Lauren, that’s who. No more snow days. I just came out to write this after having locked myself in the bathroom this morning for a good peaceful time out. I made a nice cup of tea and grabbed a book and locked the door. It was great for about 15 minutes until there was yelling and barking and people trying to pull down the “broken” door. (Note to self: I should lock it more often so they are less confused.) It reminded me of yesterday, when I was caught doing downward dog in the closet, trying to find some inner peace and quiet.
At first we played games and make cookies and watched Netflix. But now we’ve played everything and eaten everything and watched everything and I just want to be alone. ALONE. School, please take them back. And can the dog come, too?
I wish there had at least been a proper amount of powder snow to justify it all. Make snowmen. Sled. Etc. But there is less than two inches. I can see the top of the grass, for crying out loud. OPEN THE SCHOOLS! I will drive everything there. I can probably swing the buses. I will start now for tomorrow morning.
Open everything. Take these children back!! I can’t take it. I need my old job again.
Sorry about that. I am headed to the closet. Text if you need me, but I don’t get good service in there.
I love you, Sherlock. You are such an awesome, witty, well-acted show and I am so glad your new season is finally out. I love all the characters: John, Sherlock, Molly, Mary, Ms. Hudson. Seriously, all great. And Sherlock’s powers of observation are so great, so awesome to watch, that I convince myself that I, too, and getting smarter by observing. I fancy myself a bit of a detective as well.
For example, who ate all of the biscuits today? James. Who needs a nap? Always Evie. Why don’t I have room to roll over in the bed? Dog, youngest child, husband, all smooshing me from every side. What happened to all the popcorn? I ate it.
I am a big fan. So, I have no idea why I keep falling asleep during the new episodes. I promise I am excited to watch. I will catch up, search for clues about why I am so tired, and be ready for next week.
You are so magical. It makes sense that you come in the winter, when the trees are bare and the world is way less good looking, so that you can cover up all the boring, lifeless gray and make it look picture-perfect. I don’t know how add lots of white can make everything look vibrant, but it sure does. You nailed it.
Your arrival today was particularly great, even if you came with way less gusto than originally hoped and predicted. We were supposed to go to dance: cancelled! I was supposed to go on a long run in 25 degree temperatures: cancelled. We were supposed to run errands and probably do chores and have a regular weekend day: cancelled. Instead, everyone slept in, stayed in pajamas, watched lots of TV and largely left each other alone, making for a delightful day of free time, vegging, and good food. Normally that much laziness makes me feel guilty, but there you were, making it seem like the only thing I *could* reasonably do was stay inside by the fire.
Also: I’m Sorry that Evie cried and said that she hated you in the afternoon. She was overtired and she tells me at least once a day, at some point, that it is the worst day ever. So don’t take it personally. Please come back.
We don’t have a shovel yet, though, so give me a few weeks. Also, the people here in NC seem so far to be terrible snow drivers (sniff of Colorado-born superiority) so stay off the roads.
I mean, how to even start an appropriately grateful thank you note to you? I. love. you. I love when you visit my kids. I love when you visit me. You make the days better: shorter, happier, more full of energy. Sunday–the best when we have you. The longest when we don’t. You should feel proud, knowing what a tangible difference you make in soooo many lives.
For example, right now, Evie is laying down, sleeping on the floor by the fire and the dog and that is how I am even able to write this note. *Naptime.* She has naps more afternoons than not and I think it is a big reason I like her so much. Abigail stopped napping a long time ago and it was why we had to send her to school. Just sayin, I think people are better with naps, don’t you? (Of course you do.) After I finish writing this, I am going to go and “read” on the couch. I think you know what I mean… 😉
You’re welcome anytime. Unless the kids are being crazy on a snowy weekend day, like they’re predicting for tomorrow, and you only hang out with James. Annoying–please avoid.
Seriously, though. Mad love. Forever.
I grew up in Colorado, so I know about cold. Winter is supposed to be cold. I used to think I liked cold. I still miss snow all the time.
But I realized a few years ago that I was more grouchy than I should be in the winter. Seasonal affect disorder, maybe? I made less good decisions, felt less social, didn’t like to leave the house, had a harder time falling asleep.
I tried several different things until I found my Oprah ‘ah-ha’ moment: warm socks. All that trouble because I had, quite literally, cold feet. Now, so long as I remember my socks, I can handle most anything.
Most anything … except when kid bedtime extends past 10 p.m., people spell things incorrectly on purpose (especially with “x” or “z”), the New England Patriots, waiting in one-way construction traffic on Green Level West Road in the morning on the way to school, when James makes eggs for breakfast way before I am ready so that by the time I get to the kitchen they are lukewarm and the texture makes me gag but I feel like I should eat them any way, when … I have a torrent of ideas here, actually, and just realized that it might be because I am barefoot. Off to remedy my attitude with the fuzzy socks I got from Santa.)
My dad’s 60th birthday is coming up in a couple of months. The rest of my family started an email exchange about what we could do to celebrate to make the day special. I weighed in late in the electronic conversation, presenting the grand idea that I COULD COME TO DINNER. That would be my gift. After I hit send, I felt kind of ridiculous, that my great gift idea for someone would be that they could eat near me (and probably pay for the meal, based on past precedent). What a selfish daughter. Full of herself. . . entitled. . . But when my mom responded so excited–that he would LOVE that–I realized, I am kind of like a rockstar. To commemorate special occasions, other people fly me in to surprise their relatives at birthday parties. Lauren is HERE! And how did I become a rockstar, you ask? Simply by being the only person to move far away, such that my presence at dinner is somewhat rare.
My fleeting sense of importance led me to remember another “rockstar” moment of my life. It was when I was baby Ella’s handler (of sorts. “Parent” also probably describes it.) in South Korea. She was 18 months old; white blonde pigtails, inquisitive blue eyes, fair skin. A beautiful white, American baby. The Seoul natives and other Asian tourists were in raptures. Students on field trips would detour to touch her leg and then run back to their friends and giggle. Grandmothers on the subway would try to take her out of our arms for a chance to rock her. Visitors at the Demilitarized Zone lined up to take photos of. . . themselves with the white baby. Using her strong, early grasp of language, we taught her to say “hello” and “thank you” in Korean. Several older people nearly died of the cuteness. Kamsahamnida. Never in my life have I felt as noticed, as famous, as celebrity-like as when I escorted little Ella through Korea. It was her rockstar moment. (I’ve often felt guilty she had her five minutes of fame before she could realize it. But she actually hated it. It probably would have been more fitting to teach her the Korean phrase for “go away.”) But really, all she did to be a rockstar was. . . be born. Just like how I became one today by virtue of having moved to another state a decade ago.
My family: nearly effortless rockstars. I pondered this realization as we ate nachos for dinner. I wondered, ‘how else can you be a rockstar without really trying?.’ Maybe, guys, maybe I have figured it out:
- High-five people going the other way on the escalators, like you’re coming off the field after a major sports win. It seems mysterious and exciting. And little risk for awkward, because the interaction is over immediately.
- Toast people SO MUCH MORE OFTEN. You have a water bottle. Your cubemate has a water bottle. Clink. I’ll drink to that. All workday long.
- Use the flight attendant call button on the plane for some reason other than ‘my kid is about to throw up’. I’ve never actually done it for any other reason, but I bet you feel fancy. And, as a bonus, the flight attendant is probably more enthusiastic.
- Wear sunglasses inside, with a buttoned trench coat. I think you have to do both, though; glasses only and people will assume you’re hung over or on the cusp of getting lasik. The trench is what pushes it over to “classy.” Buttoned, though, so you might–just might–be naked under there. If that combo doesn’t say “celebrity,” I don’t know what does.
- Write a blog. Where you cover–in painstaking detail–emails you sent to your family while driving in slow traffic, making them seem important and yourself seem cool and witty. No one will know that you’re crafting the post from your basement, in your pajamas and slippers, having just binge eaten all of your youngest daughter’s gummy bears, writing mostly to avoid making lunches for tomorrow. They won’t know. They’ll just see the glamour.
Nearly Effortless Rockstar.