Cold Enough For You?

The weather was gruesomely winter. Since the first of the new year, I have been afraid to remove all of my clothes for fear of catching pneumonia. The children have been taking quick baths and sitting on the heating registers to warm up afterwards. Steve seems to be enjoying the cold for some unfathomable reason and whistling a lot. I will never understand men. I bundle the children up in snow gear just to walk to the car, which adds a good 20 minutes to every trip. I planned on getting over to the college bookshop to round up my texts before the term began. I like to get a jump on the reading and reading ahead was key to success with Mr. Snow. I was hoping he would be happy to see me in class again. I thought that bringing the kids along might be a good idea. Exposing my children to higher learning is part of my overall plan. Junior and Daisy are both smart and excel in some subjects, but not all. I couldn’t figure out if it was just a case of not applying themselves enough or lack of natural talent. No one had ever encouraged me to go to school or do well. It did not seem to be anyone’s expectation for me. I liked proving to myself that I was able to do well in my classes.

There were few students on campus and the bookstore had stacks of texts ready for the term. The children thought that there would be books for them at the store and were disappointed with the thick texts and boring shelves of notebooks. I told them that we would also be stopping at Miesel’s and they gave me a puzzled look. I suppose going to eat ice cream in freezing temperatures seemed a little foolish but I assured them that the ice cream was actually warmer than the outside weather.

We slid into a booth and Junior decided that he was too big to order his regular ice cream and decided to order a banana split. I wasn’t sure he would be able to eat the whole thing but he has a good appetite and it sure looked pretty. Daisy ordered her sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top. I opted for coffee. Holiday eating had added a couple of pounds and I needed to work them off before school started. It’s strange how my year revolved around school now. Not just the children’s calendar, but mine also. I had picked up a new planner to get even more organized this term.

As we left the pharmacy, big flakes of snow started to fall and the children tried to catch them on their tongues as we walked back to the car. I wasn’t exactly crazy about snow with the cold weather but they do tend to follow each other. Maybe I could burn off a few pounds playing with the children outside. I am an expert fort maker. I could even help out with the snow shoveling if Steve allowed me. He gets very territorial with snow removal from the sidewalks. It’s like his lawn love in the summer. A blade out of place is noticed.

When we woke up the following morning, everything was covered in ice. Although pretty, like a wonderland, it looked frigid. The children stared out the window and blew on the glass trying to melt the little ice designs. I made hot chocolate and oatmeal to warm up our insides. We listened to the radio for the school closings and the when Junior heard them call out the name of his school, he ran to his room to start to layer on his play clothes. Daisy didn’t seem as interested in going outside yet. When Junior was completely bundled up, he headed outside and I could see him with the other boys on the block pulling each other on their sleds. The whole street looked like ice and no one was driving anywhere. As the sun rose in the brilliant blue sky, Daisy, Steve and I went outside. Steve was looking for something to melt ice with and Daisy and I slid on the sidewalks over to meet Chloe and Marie-Claire out front. Chloe was still surprised by really cold weather and her nose was bright red. I realized that meant that my nose was bright red also. Zettie Louise was pulling kids on a large cardboard box attached to the back of a bike. I was glad it was not her motorcycle. Eventually, the girls were brave enough to be pulled and Chloe walked along with me on the sidewalk. The men in the neighborhood were doing their snow removal thing.

The children finally got cold and headed home. As the kids changed out of their snow clothes, I started to heat up milk for hot chocolate and make a snack. Steve came in for a break and got some coffee for motivation. As we sat around the kitchenette, I remembered how much I liked these days that stopped us from automatically moving ahead with our lives and tasks. The children really were growing fast and were quite interesting at times. I could not recall a time when my parents ever sat at the table with me in my youth, just talking. Our generation was much more integrated with our kids. I focused on making memories for myself knowing that someday soon it would just be Steve and I alone again. I had never really thought about that before. I wondered what we would talk about besides the weather.


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