Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snow Day

Our trip home to Virginia proved to be more exciting than usual. After a very stressful 2 weeks of staying at my mom's house, I was anxious to get back to my house. Our last week in Virginia ended with another argument between me and my mother. When I saw argument it was really just my mother yelling at me about what a terrible parent I am and listing all of the things that I do wrong.

I've learned that it is impossible to have a rational discussion with my mother. My brother has recently informed me that the trick is to just smile and nod and let her think that she is wrong. I may have to try that next time.

It's so sad that my mom and I will never have a good relationship. We get along best when we have the most miles between us. It's unfortunate. It's nothing new, and I'm certainly used to it. She sent me away to live with my dad because she just couldn't stand to have me in her home. When I grew up and had children of my own, I mourned for that close relationship that daughters have with their mothers. It's just not there. I know it won't ever be that way and I've just moved past that and accepted that we will just have to do our best to get along. I ignore a lot of what she says in the spirit of keeping things civil. It breaks my heart that my children don't want to spend more time with her because of her "rules."

Needless to say, our visit was physically and emotionally exhausting. I was completely drained by the time Saturday rolled around. We were supposed to head home on Sunday. Wouldn't you know that a huge snow storm made its way up the coast and by Saturday night I realized that it would not be safe for me to drive back to Georgia in the snow-especially while towing a 5x8 trailer.I resigned myself to staying a few more days and waiting out the storm. I briefly considered leaving Saturday night and driving until I hit snow but quickly realized that was impossible. How would I get a hotel room by myself with 6 kids and a dog? And even if I did get a room, how would I get 6 little ones into the room by myself and get the luggage inside without leaving someone unattended in either the van or the room? I just couldn't do it. So we stayed at my mom's house.

Sunday evening brought the first flurries of snow. Matthew was ecstatic and could hardly fall asleep that night. My mom remained convinced that we wouldn't get any accumulation. I was hopeful that we would get something so that the kids could see snow.
Sure enough, we awoke to a blanket of freshly fallen snow. The skies were gray and windy and the snow continued until the early afternoon. By the time the sun came out I could no longer contain the kids. They were just dying to get outside. Never mind the fact that we don't even own snow gear. I put plastic bags on the boys' feet and my mom ran to the store to pick up boots for the girls.
Matthew was born in Virginia and we lived there during the blizzard of 2003. Matthew has been skiing in Colorado and he's been to Big Bear Mountain in California. Joshua has been to CO and CA but was much too young to remember. To him, this was his first taste of snow. Literally.

The child ate so much snow I thought he would turn into an icicle! He was ready to go back inside after 2 minutes of being in the snow but I was able to convince him to make a snowball and try eating some snow first. After that he was ready to play.
Leila and Sarah are Georgia girls. They have never seen snow. They have never even been in the cold weather, to be quite honest. Leila is bit prissy and hates to be dirty so she was a little disturbed by the white powder that stuck to her clothes and gloves. Sarah, on the other hand, was content to spend hours outside frolicking with our dog, Delmar. Even our dog is from Georgia and has never stepped foot on the snow. He was a little scared of it at first!
Matthew spent the better part of the day outside. He was in and out for 8 hours. He'd come in when he got too cold and I would make some hot chocolate. He'd thaw out and get right back outside. I ran the dryer all day, constantly cycling through the wet clothes and snow gear. I've never seen him so excited as when he saw the piles of snow and ran out to make his first snow angel. he had little snow flakes dancing on his eyelashes and he looked so sweet.
Leila and Sarah fell in love with their new purple boots. They refused to take them off and even took a nap while still wearing them. Who needs pants? Some nifty purple boots are the perfect accessory whether fully clothed or not.
Even the little guys were amazed at this spectacle outside. It was as if God sent the snow, so pure and clean and white, to remind me of forgiveness. My mother hurts me in many ways, but she's still my mother. The only one I've got. And so I forgive her.
As we headed back to Georgia we were rewarded with the most beautiful scenes. Even driving down the interstate was scenic last week. Somehow everything looks more spectacular with a coating of the white stuff!

Driving back was a long trip but we made it in just under 10 hours. I surprised myself by backing the trailer into the driveway on the first try. When I got out of the van and did a little dance I am sure the neighbors concluded that I have indeed lost my mind. Which I have. But I don't need everybody knowing it. So I unloaded my six little kids, one by one, and went inside.

It's been such an eventful March so far and I haven't had anyone to share it with. Jason is out in the field doing training and has been without his phone for more than 2 weeks. I get lonely but I'm so blessed to have my brother here right now.

More tomorrow...
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