Snow Days

Look, no footprints in the snow! the kids have all grown p.It’s December and I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. Today was a day I would have killed for when I was working.

The weather is bad, too bad to venture out. All my errands got cancelled. Poor me. I had to spend the day in front of a fire, reading, knitting, cooking and wrapping Christmas presents

The day began with good/bad news from my daughter.

“Mom.” She declared. “I’m updating my resume. It goes out tomorrow.”

Before now, she had been captured by her conscience.

“I can’t leave the job right now.” She had declared. “Attleboro would be better than Needham, since I live there. But…they’re so short-staffed. And I don’t want to leave the kids….”

“You’ll do the right thing.” I had assured her. “You’re Tracy, and…” I added. “a snowstorm or two may help you decide”.

I was right about that.

“Mom. I thought I was going to die. I stepped on the brakes and the car just slid from one side of the road to another. It’s a miracle I wasn’t in an accident.”

“Mom,” She continued. “I’m not a good driver. I have an hour commute to work, and then I drive around all day. I get a cup of coffee for the way home so I don’t fall asleep. This morning it was dark and snowing, and after an hour and a half of stop and go traffic, I just stopped being attentive.”

“That’s… a good reason to change jobs….” I said mildly, staring outside at the snow.

Meanwhile, my husband was staring intently at his computer screen.

“Look at this storm!” he shouted enthusiastically. “It covers the whole country. Look at the tail. It goes right into the Gulf of Mexico. Wow.”

I wasn’t as thrilled.

“I have errands.” I declared.

“Well.” He replied. “Feel free to shovel. Myself…” he added. “I figure it’s my civic duty to stay off the road.”

I sulked and conceded. “I can stay home this morning. But this afternoon I have to get to knitting.”

We always have knitting. Spring, summer, fall, and winter. I count on it.

But when I checked my E-mail, the subject line was “Snow Wimp.” Our knitting guru had cancelled. It was a day, she decreed, to stay off the road, bake cookies, and wrap presents. A quick flurry of E-mails confirmed the groups’ affirmation of our leader’s judgment.

I was not happy.

I should have been. I had my knitting. The Internet was working. And there were at least three unread library books next to my bed. Plus, my husband had a modest proposal.

“I’ll make a fire.” He declared.

He knows me. He knows that I can’t leave a fire. When I’m camping, I stay close enough for my sneakers to melt. I pretend to be a marshmallow, toasting one side and then the other. In my house, when there’s a fire, I won’t even go to the bathroom. I think the technical term is ensorcelled.

“You really don’t want me out on the roads, do you?” I gripped.

I should have been content. It should have been a perfect day.

But I sulked. I got into an argument with my husband. He had the nerve to tell me that that I didn’t need to go out and shovel just because he was shoveling.

“What do you mean by that?” I demanded suspiciously. “If stay in, are you going to be mad because I’m not helping you shovel? Or do you mean that want me to stay in because I’m a nuisance?

He looked confused.

“I mean I’m fine with you staying in the house.” He tried to explain. “Or coming out. Either. I was just going to get wood, and shovel a path.”

Men just aren’t into nuance. I sighed, and decided to forgive him anyway.

“I think I’m just in a pissy mood.” I explained.

You see, it’s winter. It’s Christmas. And I don’t like any of it.It’s cold. It’s icy. I’m afraid to have my aunt come over because she might fall and break a bone. I’m afraid I might fall and break a bone. I’m afraid that my children will get into car accidents. I’m afraid that I’m turning into an old, fretful woman.

In other words, it’s a typical December in the Woodard household.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My children are healthy and well. I don’t have to venture out when it’s cold and snowy. My husband loves me enough to make me a fire. My daughter’s car slid and swerved, but there were no other cars on that piece of 128. She shook for an hour, and decided to update her resume. It was all good.

It’s the Christmas season. I should rejoice. And I will, I think…next April.

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