Friday, January 31, 2014

Snowbound II: A Family Divided

Three years ago, when we had our first (for us, at least) Snowpocalypse, it happened overnight on a weekend, leaving our family unit safe and intact in our home. Somewhat of a vicious ice storm, it held us captive for nearly a week. But we were together, our kitchen was well-stocked, and life was good.

Three days ago, a fast-and-furious snow-turned-ice storm descended on us in the middle of a school- and work-day, ultimately stranding thousands in their cars, offices, or any form or shelter and making 2011 look like a winter carnival. After a terrifying couple of hours where I didn't know how to get to Clare and Danny or where it was best to keep/send them (all the while Tim was walking home after parking his car three miles away), we accepted the kindness of dear friends and sent them to a house that is walking distance from their school. Sure, the mom had the literal flu plus two teen drivers still trying to make their way home from their own school, but without hesitation she took in my children and as far as I know, they never realized the scariness of the ordeal.
Sledding with neighbors and school friends.
She got more than she bargained for, as the roads remained impassible for 48 more hours.  Based on the photos, stories, and phone calls, Clare and Danny had a blast and came home semi-reluctantly. This being the home of Clare's best friend, I didn't worry about how she'd fare. Danny was the wild card - but waxes poetic about his time and, more importantly, about the 16-year-old brother who took him under his wing. Video games! Snowball fights! SportsCenter!
Danny and his new favorite person in the world.
Ever the sensitive soul, I think overall Danny's emotions were mixed. As we snuggled at bedtime last night for the first time in three days, he asked what I did while they were gone, "aside from miss us?" He went on to say, "I didn't really miss you guys at all - I was having too much fun." But a moment later he said, "Every time I talked to you on the phone, my eyes got watery."
After more than 24 hours straight together, they still sit as closely together as possible.
Like the city at large, we all made the best of our circumstances. Tim and I enjoyed some grown-up dinners after putting Laura to bed, and wine and TV at our leisure. That said, I certainly slept better once the kids were home. I never for a moment doubted that they were not only well-cared for but truly loved - an act of kindness we can never fully repay. But at the end of the day, our chicks belong in their own nest...and perhaps it is time to find one a little closer to school.

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