Our school was closed for three days this week “to allow everyone to finish digging themselves out,” the principal said in an email to parents.
Ha! Dude, the real digging out is just beginning now that our little pillagers are finally back in your court.
The most onerous, backbreaking Snowzilla dig-out is indoors. The sad truth: Our homes may never recover from this storm.
And it’s not over for many families. Parents in some school districts are facing their seventh or even eighth day of captivity with their kids. Most of the major suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia school systems scratched the entire school week.
Those parents may never be found. The concept of a snow day is not so hot-chocolate sweet anymore. It’s getting ugly inside.
Piles and piles of hats, gloves and inside-out socks. Pillow forts. The papier-mache goop splatter stuccoing the kitchen.
There is the detritus of Monopoly games abandoned after the greedy Lehman Brothers and sobbing tenants came to blows. The tiny Risk armies thrown at pygmy dictators by the oppressed peoples are everywhere. “The Guns of Navarone” in a Lego space scene sprawls across the floor. Nerf darts are in the plants and the dishwasher. A regular Hugh Hefner party of half-dressed Barbies is strewn about.
The dog’s eyes plead, “Will they ever leave?”
Sledding, snowmen and shoveling created a whole separate layer of domestic chaos. The bouillabaisse of dirt, snow, salt and snot painted on floors and walls from the constant egress-ingress cycle has hardened. There are no more places to perch sopping mittens.
Got teens? Then your mess is just as intractable, but it’s probably in vapor form. Whew. Call the hazmat techs.
A dig-out? Give me two feet of snow to shovel any day. That muffled quiet of fresh flakes. The flick, flick of the first, soft layer. The satisfying sound of the long scraaaape once you hit bricks. That outside digging is the easy part of a snowstorm.
This hell that happens when small children are inside for five or six days straight? The aftermath is enough to make Watto’s junkyard look like a Marie Kondo book.
No wonder only women showed up to run the Senate in the days right after the blizzard. They remember what the house was like when the kids were trapped inside. Post-Traumatic Snowstorm Disorder.
Spouses are sword-fighting for who gets to return to work. The blessed smell of a copy machine, the gentle ring of incoming calls. The sweet clarity of the supply closet. Ahh.
A child-free friend of mine who posted artistic pictures of delicious food she made while snowed in couldn’t understand the FEMA scene that our living room has become.
“My mother made us put all of our toys away before we went to bed,” she said. “Of course, we didn’t have many toys back in the Gen X.”
I still love her and will remember to invite her over for the next snowtastrophe, to show us how it’s done. Heck, I’ll even cook her a fancy meal.
For now, though, I’ve got some serious cleaning to do. The task ahead is herculean. Loads and loads of laundry, scrapers for the floor, storage bins for the toys. The kids can help: Earn back your toys, snow-day marauders, one chore at a time.