It's the middle of January. We're struggling to maintain our resolutions. Lofty goals like no more yelling, eliminating sugar, and foregoing mid-week booze. After the organized chaos of December, we are finally getting back into a routine and we're starting to feel like ourselves again. The kids are back at school. We're once again able to have a phone call that isn't interrupted with "Mo-om, he won't stop licking me!" We're finally gaining some semblance of normalcy to our days and weeks, to our lives.
And then BAM!
Nothing derails a day in the life of a parent like a snow day. When we were kids, a snow day was a welcome break from the monotony. Now, a snow day means rescheduled meetings, scrambling to find childcare, and breaking up a gazillion fights over whose turn it is to play Minecraft.
Just like there are five stages of grief, there are five stages of a Snow Day:
Denial. You hear the message telling you school is cancelled, but you don't believe it. Surely, there couldn't be that much snow. It can't be that cold. Maybe the school's phone system was hacked. That must be it. It was all a mistake. You check your email, certain there will be a message telling you about the error. It can't be cancelled. Can it?
Anger. Dammit! They cancelled school for a measly 12 inches of snow? You mutter swear words under your breath. Heck, maybe not even under your breath. How am I supposed to get any work done today?, you think. And, for the love of God, can you kids stop screaming and jumping on the couch?
Bargaining. Desperation starts to sink in. You need just one thing to go your way. Please dear God, let there be plenty of coffee, you plead. And chocolate. And wine. As long as there is coffee, chocolate, and wine, you will be okay. You will freaking own this snow day. You will play games! You'll google "fun winter activities" and look up "snow day crafts" on Pinterest. Heck, you'll even let the kids do crafts with glitter! If the kids can let you work in peace for an hour, you'll let them download a new iPad game. If they play outside for a half hour, you'll let them watch Daniel Tiger. If they can just stop screaming and fighting, you'll let them play Wii until their eyes glaze over.
Depression. Somewhere in the middle of the fifteenth game of Candy Lane, you begin to question your life choices. You check the weather app on your phone. Snow, snow, and more snow. You may never leave your house again.
Acceptance. There must be a silver lining in all of this. You wore your pajamas all day. You made pancakes for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. You watched a movie in the middle of the afternoon. Maybe snow days aren't be so bad. At least you don't need to pack lunches or deal with homework.
Christine Organ is the author of Open Boxes: the gifts of living a full and connected life. She writes at www.christineorgan.com, and you can follow her on Facebook.