It’s Monday and my teacher husband is home because of the snow. It’s tempting to take a break from everything and just veg, but the problem is, this isn’t the first, second, or even third snow day he’s had this winter. If we were to continue to take days off whenever he was out of school, the kids and I would be doing work well into the summer, and nobody–but nobody–wants that around here.
So we’ll carry on, albeit a little languidly, and perhaps in our pajama pants. I admit I secretly love when nature ruins our carefully laid plans, not on a grand scale where there’s devastation and permanent damage, but on a small one.
I look out in the yard and the dogs are bouncing high through cold powder, and everything is so white it hurts my eyes. And here we are inside, slow, our stomachs full of Cheerios. The snow will not allow us to hurry, and I’m grateful.
My kids got an up close taste of death yesterday.
It’s not like they didn’t know it existed before this. We’d seen the lifeless body of a woman floating face down in the river in Nepal once. We’d watched bodies on biers move past us on their way to funeral pyres in India. We’d passed dog carcasses wearing blankets of flies, the smell of them slapping us in the face as we walked to a friend’s flat.
And in the US we’ve been to funerals, stared into open caskets at faces that don’t look asleep.
We’ve had to peel our beloved dog off the road and bury her before her time.
But yesterday was different. It was a shock and, though it’s something that happens every day in the world, it reminds us that we aren’t home yet.
A poem by my 11-year-old. (Can you tell what we’ve been arguing about around here?)
It’s time to give the boot
to games in which one must shoot.
Do not ask.
Do not beg.
They’ll make your brain a scrambled egg.
Climb a tree.
Paint with blue.
Kiss your dog’s flabby flew.
So here’s a note to all those killers:
Fill your brain with smart-kid fillers!