Thursday, March 26, 2015

A random rant about choosing joy

Well people, the snow is *starting* to melt. It's a good thing too, because I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread here. Winter fatigue is... tiring. I am feeling more than a little desperate to take off these wool socks, to see some grass, to take my life back outside.

I mean, seriously. This is what we've been dealing with. I'm going to jump on the bandwagon here and say it, too. #enoughisenough

Today, I actually sent my younger girl to school in old winter boots with grocery bags on her feet. Her rain boots seem to have shrunk over the winter, and my hair dryer couldn't get the wet out of those slushy winter boots. If that doesn't just sum it all up.

But.... I sent my kids out the door this morning with the knowledge that we are going to break 5 degrees today. It's going to be grey and foggy, but my 5-year-old tells me that fog melts snow better than sun, and I trust her. The winter tires are coming off the family van today. It's all about the little things, people.

Today, I am choosing joy.

My grade primary kid bounded out of school on the last day before March Break a couple of weeks ago, walked over to me, and in all of her 5-year-old innocence, asked "Where are we going for March Break, Mom?"

My heart kind of broke a little bit.

You see, we live in a more than comfortable neighbourhood. Which is something that I am not always so comfortable with- yes, I am always thankful for the excellent school, the lovely homes, the fantastic sense of community that surrounds us. But when I sat at the Christmas concert this year, and realized that every single kid on that stage was wearing a perfect, brand new Christmas concert outfit (my child included), I cringed a little. And when most kids in school are going somewhere sunny and warm for March Break, or are skiing, or are at a fancy March Break camp, I cringe even more. Because I am scared that this is what my kid expects now, and I can't blame her for it. Except... my kid should expect food, and a warm house, and a family that loves her... and that's kind of it.

My heart broke for a few minutes when I had to tell Scarlett that "We aren't going anywhere", and then I planned a little stay-cation. I tried not to dwell, I tried to chose joy. I had lofty plans- trips to the museum, our new breathtakingly beautiful library, crafts, treats, the movie theatre. I was going to give my kid a March Break to rival all of those shiny trips, while still reinforcing our values- that big bucks don't need to be spent for quality experiences. And then my stay-cation was foiled by a whopper of a late winter storm- 80 + cm of snow in 3 days. We were stuck inside, literally stuck, for days. We managed a little bit of outside play when the weather wasn't more than the kids could handle, and the snow wasn't so deep they might drown in it. We watched a whole lot of movies, read books, ate our weight in baking. When our dad finally dug us out from under our snow-pression, we went bowling. To finish off our week, we had a spa morning at home while the baby napped, during which Scarlett spiked a fever and barfed everywhere.

March Break ended, and Spring officially started, and I felt worn out and dejected and like I'd let my kids down a little. And then the other night at bed time, during our nightly chat, Scarlett told me that she'd had the best break ever. Her favourite activity: spa morning. Her mind seems to have blocked out the barf. She also adored making a poster out of 6 pieces of taped together loose leaf- that was pretty damn cool, too.

I have not heard my kids complain about the weather once- they aren't blue, they aren't hanging on by a whiny thread like the rest of us. While I have been glowering at all of my Facebook friend's sunny trip photos, my girl was reminiscing about the 45 minutes we spent in a bowling alley, and the cupcakes we scarfed at the Superstore food court after. It has dawned on me- we actually may be doing what we hope to do.

We are trying to teach our kids to be thankful and to appreciate the lovely, extra comfy world we live in, but to know that it is a privilege to be here. I also hope we are teaching our kids to find beauty in all of the little moments around them, because it's actually there. Sometimes you have to look harder to find it, but it's there.

Or maybe... our kids are teaching us. Because once again, my kid brought me back down to earth the other night. Scarlett appreciated the good things about our yucky week, and didn't dwell in the low moments.

She chose joy.

I may have sent my daughter to school in wet boots today, but here's the thing. She actually has boots. And a new pair is on the way. How lucky is that?

1 comment:

  1. I am proud of you, all of you. Nice to know my kid's head's on right. And I am here in sunny Florida, no snow, and you know what? I am just missing you.