Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Dome

Riverside Park
Today is Wednesday again, exactly one week since I bid my gall bladder a fond farewell.  I am certainly recovering, but still taking things easy, slowly.  I did not slip foot out of our apartment until Saturday, and I have left my building once, yesterday, briefly.

Otherwise I am living a rather small life inside these walls.  Drinking ginger tea and moving about gingerly; resting, waiting, putting most of the rest of everything on hold.  Living in a bubble, cocooned. Not quite ready to pop.

The snows that have fallen?  Were watched through windows.

Friday's fat happy dancing flakes looked lovely drifting down.  It was a giant shaken snow dome of a day.  I had a visitor.  I was still loopy on percoset.  I drifted in and out of a gauzy sleep, my children kept at the periphery, pain still ever-present at my core.

Today's snow was sharper, colder; a different shape to its crystalline structure.  I was sharper, too; the pain receding, the pain-killers now three days tossed.

We had all been waiting on tenterhooks: Snow day / no snow day?  Six inches...  ten...  fourteen?

A rumor whipped around Ethan's school yesterday, fueled by children eager for fun...

If you want a snow day the next day, you must do three things:
1.  Put a spoon under your pillow when you go to sleep that night.
2.  Take some ice cubes and flush them down the toilet.
3.  Put your PJs on inside out and wear them that way to bed.

None of us have any idea where this came from, although one Kindergartner told her mom that her TEACHER had told them to do this.  I guess she really wanted a day off.

However, we moms needed the day off, too, so a bunch of us made our own counter-magic by buying new sleds.

The Mom magic prevailed.  At 5AM the mayor spoke: No Snow Day; business as usual; carry on.  This is par for the course here in New York.  This is not a city of snow wimps, we are walkers.  We go out in it all (well, I didn't, but you know that story). 

If there is less than a foot, a foot and a half of snow?  Go to school!

Jacob's school, on the other hand, had called a snow day early the evening before, as had most of the other private special ed schools in the city.  That's because there is so much more prepping that takes place to get these kids off to school, and they thoughtfully know we need more lead time to scramble and lay plans for an unexpected day off. 

I needed to know earlier rather than later whether or not I would be waking my son as usual at o'dark hundred to make ready and catch his way-too-early bus, for his way-too-long ride to school.

Ethan, of course, was livid, wailing at the injustice of it all.  He had been pulling hard for a snow day to spend holed up with the upstairs neighbor boys in front of screens, large and small.  His hopes had been dashed, his plans all gone to rot.

And his brother, HIS TWIN BROTHER, got to stay home in pajamas and watch TV while he had to bundle up and shuffle off to school.  The disappointment nearly did him in, but off to school with his father he went.

As better as I am feeling, I was still in no shape for a full day of Jacob, challenging and sweat provoking even in the best of circumstances.  So I called in the cavalry: a sitter.  Mid-morning, as my barely emerging energy was flagging, I sent Jake out into the world with movie, library and snowballs on his plate for the day.

And me?  I furled my butterfly wings back in, tucked them round.  Cocooned* once more, facing a day of sleep, healing and listening to the snowplows grumble as they slowly scrape their way down our street.

*Ethan would surely like to tell you that I am using the cocoon metaphor incorrectly here. Butterflies form in chrysalises, cocoons are the exclusive domain of moths.  I say pffft, poetic license, dude.

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