Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snow Days

It has been a week of snow. Cancelled activities. Home time. Ah…..A breather from the otherwise fast pace of our weekly routines. Actually, we only cancelled a couple of things. We planned on staying home today anyway. We could probably get out, but I don’t really see why. The roads are icy. We have the flexibility to stay home and take things easier. So, we are.

Interestingly, I see a lot of posts from people on my Facebook page or emails from various groups complaining about being stuck at home. It’s really only day two. Well, maybe day two and a half because schools were being cancelled as soon as noon on Monday.

I get the anxiety of having exciting things cancelled. For example, I know some friends who have been stressed out about whether or not they can make their Thanksgiving travel plans. Yet, I am surprised at the number of people who simply don’t feel like they can stay home another day. The cabin fever is fascinating.

It’s not that my kids haven’t had moments where they claim boredom. They have. And while I am always ready with the offer to help with laundry if they are really that bored (They are not!), I see a tremendous amount of benefit in letting them experience that boredom and power through to find something worthwhile. Sometimes they get stuck. And the older ones have an easier time coping with that then my 3 year-old. I did find myself getting out the play-dough and the chalk and other things that I generally reserve for moments where I really need to entertain that little person. But she has also made a lot of her own fun the past couple of days. Case in point: She developed a new game, which entails her trying to be very quiet (while giggling to herself with anticipation of the fun she will have) and running to sneak up on me and surprise me while I am working in the kitchen. I show her my surprise and she squeals with delight and runs away. This kept her busy for a good part of the day and tired her out, too, as she is running on her little legs the whole time.

Part of why it works for us, too, is that my kids don’t equate a snow day with a day “off.” We actually get more academics done on snow days because there are fewer social engagements and enrichment activities to keep us busy. The fact is, there are always academics and lessons we can do given extra time. So, their attitude isn’t necessarily one that expects snow days to be special, and they aren’t aching from missing their regularly scheduled lives. They are actually just living a version of the regularly scheduled lives with snow outside the window.

I feel lucky that my house is comfortable and that my family has ample means of entertainment so that we can survive – even thrive – for a few days of a slower pace at home. I feel lucky that I have the luxury of a flexible life that allows my kids to homeschool.

In fairness, we are not isolated. We walked to the library yesterday and picked up some books. We can walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the weather with our neighbors. We also have plenty of food, heat, electricity and all of our creature comforts. Also speaking fairly, our house is spacious. We have plenty of room for kids to run up and down the halls, bounce around, and get space from one another. It’s hard to find a downside in a few days at home to catch up on things and relax a bit.

And thus, I have so much about which to feel thankful today.

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