The rain keeps pouring down. It is a good thing. Everyone says we need the rain. A few weeks ago the headlines of all the newspapers screamed DROUGHT COMING. Water rationing. People looked outside at their gardens and flowerbeds and sighed. So the rain is good. I’ve learned (in my 1+ years up here) it is almost an unspoken rule that you can’t complain about the rain. So allow me just to share with you: I AM GOING OUT OF MY SOGGY, WATER-LOGGED MIND!!
All the rain would come THIS week – what is traditionally known as Ski Week up here. Instead of just getting Presidents’ Day off, the school districts here decided to give kids the WHOLE week off. This is in addition to our Spring Break week in April. (And we wonder why we have to start school in August now – instead of after Labor Day – and go through the third week in June. Hmm.)
Working parents find this to be a royal pain. They are scrambling to make arrangements for their kids during this non-traditional week off. More money to be spent on daycare or Ski Week Camp, etc. On the other side of that equation, some parents have loaded up the Lexus Hybrid SUV and gone to Tahoe for a week’s worth of skiing and snowboarding. After all, isn’t that what Ski Week is all about?
I fall in neither camp. No, I’m not sifting through fresh powder on Squaw Valley. On the other hand, how can I complain when I’m hanging around in flannel pajama bottoms and Ugg boots, sipping coffee and “working” on my computer? My household is pretty content. My son is playing with baseball cards and writing down endless line-ups and my daughter is making breakfast for her baby dolls and getting them ready for school.
Her preschool is open this week, but she is here with me because she has a fever of 102 (again)! I’m not sure who is more disappointed. Every time she coughs on me, I imagine those little germs floating here and there and I can’t help but think, NO! Not again. First she was sick, and then I got sick, now she is sick – please! This cycle has got to stop! We are the healthy family, remember? Yeah, who’s gonna believe me now?!
I am feeling cooped up and restless. We talked of going to the new section of the California Academy of Sciences museum. Yeah, me and every other poor fool here in town with nothing to do on a rainy day. But my daughter’s fever has nixed that idea. We need to hit the grocery store and the library – but getting in and out of the car in the pouring rain and dealing with bags of soggy groceries and a sick child sounds less than appealing.
So what would the ideal (true Zen) mom do? Good question. I bet she and her helpers would bake some cookies (the little one couldn’t help this time, but she still could nibble some cookie dough). She would pop a batch of popcorn and snuggle up with them on the couch to watch some fun kid movie (one they hadn’t already seen 50 times). She’d play endless rounds of Battleship, Monopoly, Candyland and Go Fish. She’d read story after story – especially to the little (sick) one. They could draw pictures, hang them up and have an art show. They could find some new music to dance around to – maybe even make a new music CD.
If this Zen Mama Wannabe did just ONE of those ideas, I’d probably make my kids’ day. (Kinda gets you right there, doesn’t it?) Okay, I’m not sure if I am feeling guilty or inspired, but I will get my act together and not let this week off get wasted.
Kids will come back to school next week telling each other all about their adventures (Mexico, Tahoe, Sports Camp, etc). My kids deserve to have a fun week too. They’re not sitting around sulking or complaining. They don’t mind that it is raining non-stop. They are thrilled just to be here at home, with me, with their toys. Looks like the one that needs to get it together is me.
There must be some ancient Zen proverb about embracing that which you are fighting against. (If you know of one, send it along). Until then, I shall try to make peace with ALL this rain and show my kids they have a mom that knows how to have fun come fair or foul weather.