Snowed in, Snowed under

There were warnings. Lots of them. Joanna and Evelyn told us. We watched every bulletin and waited. It was coming. We bought provisions, bread (obviously), milk, chocolate, water, carbs, biscuits, vegetables to make soup, dinner things.

By Tuesday excitement was high. Very high. Would Daddy make it home from London before the Beast from the East arrived? We waited. He did. We checked outside every few minutes to be sure he didn’t bring the snow.

Wednesday came in icily and brought huge disappointment. No text from school, the postponed lunches flung together moments before we left. Tiny dots of snow, slippery ground, a wind like razor blades. Parents sought shelter from the flurries in warm coffee shops waiting for the text from school but it didn’t come.

Thursday brought red alerts. Storm Emma was on her way. No school. No playschool. We adults worked from home, juggling conference calls with snack requests and children checking whether it had snowed yet. The children lived their best lives lazing on the couch while we balanced and stressed and life went on. We ate a warming snow day dinner and lots of carbs as precautionary insulation. We looked at photos on Facebook of other people’s snow, caught in the snow-free twillight zone. But still no snow.

Friday morning the kids didn’t even bother checking, they were coming to terms with their new couch-bound lives. We looked outside

So. Much. Snow.

Feet of it. Drifts. Up to the windows. Filling the back garden. Worth waiting for.

But the phone meetings were waiting. We compared work diaries and agreed to replace our morning coffee breaks with a walk in the snow. Boots were recovered from the attic, and a toboggan that was a gift in 2011, hats, scarves, gloves layered on. We had to dig ourselves out.

The kids ran free, feeling fresh snow for the first time in their memories. It was special to watch them figure it out. Snow angels were the first order of the day, then a quick toboggan slide, before a mini-blizzard brought proceedings abruptly to a halt. We retreated indoors, changed socks and arranged wet clothing for the first of too many times to count in the next few days.

The parents returned to their laptops, confirming to colleagues that yes, the snow was as bad down here as it said on the radio, the children curled back up until it was snowman time.

Lunch break was snowman time. Who knew if it would be still bright when the work was done. The boys worked together on theirs until one got too cold. The girl begged me to help her then turned on me when it wasn’t perfect and told me I ruined everything. I returned to my desk, relieved to be subject to kinder treatment and less criticism from colleagues than kin.

Memories made. Busy busy. Visits from children, reaching for the mute button and answering the “will you be much longer?” “Can I have the code for the iPad” “What can I have to eat?” “He/she hit me” “It’s my turn”.

Multiplied by infinity.

Another snow day dinner. A movie on Netflix. A large glass of wine so well earned.

Snow days with work and kids are not for the faint hearted.

But so many memories made.

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