I’m trying really hard not to complain – – really, I am – – but this winter will not end! The temperature has not gone above 30 in several weeks – yikes! It’s going to feel downright balmy when we hit 40 degrees. I’m almost giddy just thinking about it. The sun is feeling warmer these days, and I just know we’re going to turn the corner soon – – right? RIGHT??!
We had a winter like this 20 years ago when J & J were babies. Being my first winter as a stay-at-home mom, cabin fever would set in often. I would bring my double stroller into the house, bundle babies in snowsuits, cover the stroller with warm blankets and head out the door. Sometimes is was only a 20-minute walk – – shorter if the neighbors had not shoveled their sidewalks. But it made all the difference to my day – – just a bit of fresh air and exercise not only made me feel like I had accomplished something, but I just felt better!
When the boys were toddlers and in pre-school, the blanket fort saved many a day! All we needed was a card table (or two chairs back to back) and a blanket – – sometimes there would be a picnic, sometimes special stories or coloring and maybe a nap (if I was lucky). Hanging out in there was an adventure.
A blanket fort is magical! It can distract even the crabbiest little one and save a mom’s sanity. (Totally worth the mess vs. reward in my opinion.) Besides, any reason to act like a kid again is good for me 🙂 The forts became quite elaborate as the boys got older – – often they would use just about every blanket, sheet and cushion they could find – – sometimes duct tape too! I knew I could count on some peace and quiet when a fort was in progress, and sometimes the fort would stay up for several days becoming a home unto itself.
The holidays wore me out – – honestly! The snow and the record-breaking cold have forced me to slow down for a couple days and I am grateful.
I took the kids sledding last week (yes, the 20-year-old boys and their girlfriends and my 14-year old daughter!) and it brought back some great memories. I even bravely went down the hill once. Since I didn’t get hurt or wet my pants, I decided not to tempt fate and just enjoy watching. I had the same sense of delight seeing them have fun now as I did when they were little. I was happy to see that they are still kids at heart, and I hope for them that never goes away!
I remember the days it took at least 30 minutes to dress both boys to go out to play – – snow pants, then boots, then mittens (mittens first so the cuffs would be under the coat sleeves), then coats, hats and scarves. “Let’s build a snowman!” I would say with great enthusiasm. They would be excited about that for about 5 minutes before they would become distracted by their footprints or how far they could throw the snow or what the snow tasted like (no yellow snow, please!!). I would find myself crawling around the yard rolling up a snowman because we had to have something to show for our outing. Jonny enjoyed tossing the snow up in to air and yelling, “We’re rich with snow!” I have never forgotten his simple joy that day.
Inevitably and all too soon, one of the boys would need to go potty or lose a glove or a boot, and I would hustle them into the house looking like powdered-sugar covered donuts. I learned quickly to have an empty laundry basket near the door to catch all the snowy gear, which would eventually make its way to the dryer. Then it was off to get dry clothes and a meal or snack and then hopefully a nap! Two hours of work for 20 minutes of fun! When your kids are small, that’s about all you can expect. The older they got, the fun lasted longer and I could watch them from the window. If I was lucky, I could get them to shovel the driveway with the promise of hot chocolate when they came in. I’m so glad I was able to play with them and teach them how to have fun– to be “rich with snow.”
Sometimes I long for those days – – I no longer stand at the window to watch them play and build snowmen in the yard. Now I stand at the window to wave as they drive off in their cars. I pray for their safety and their safe return home . . . and I remember we are indeed “rich with snow” and many other blessings.
It all started 21 years ago. We had been married for six years; we owned a home and we were ready to start a family. Little did we know that God had His own plan for us.
Looking back, it actually began on November 26, 1910.
My maternal grandmother, Evelyn, was born with her fraternal twin brother, Fred. (No, they were not identical – that would be impossible!) Jump ahead to 1992 and my doctor asking if twins run in our family. I started to say no because my mom had not had any twins when I remembered that my Grandmama was a twin. Oh boy . . . hmmm . . . could it be possible? Possible, the doctor said but not likely – – probably just a miscalculated due date. Five days before Christmas, we received an early gift and learned that we would be first-time parents of twins! We came to learn that fraternal twins are hereditary on the woman’s side of the family and often skip a generation – -nature was going to have her way with us.
Oh boy and Oh boy again! Two boys would begin to fill up our lives the following spring. They were already starting to fill up my heart.