I officially survived the blizzard that hit us here in Virginia Beach on Saturday and Sunday and I actually gained something from the experience.
I was so excited for it to snow, but growing up in this area has taught me that snow is pretty rare in our neck of the woods. Therefore, when they called for “blizzard-like conditions” I scoffed at it and continued on. Then the day before the snowstorm was supposed to arrive, I decided to go to the grocery store on our normal weekly grocery run. That was when I saw the mad rush of people at the store and I started to panic. Maybe we’re going to get hit after all?! I began grabbing anything and everything and throwing it into my cart. At one point I thought I was going to get rammed by a cart when I reached for a pack of IPA in the beer aisle for the hubs. I finally make it to the checkout line and I’m about the 30th cart deep. I looked up and saw an electric sign saying “Your wait is 30 minutes for the next available cashier.” Was I in line for Space Mountain at Disney? WTH? I make it home and realize that even though I spent over $200 in groceries, I couldn’t even make a whole meal with all the random crap I threw in my cart. So I blame the snow for my Pizza Rolls, chips, Hot Pockets, and other junk. Forget the New Year’s diet!
Moving on (I promise I’ll get to my point soon), Saturday morning I woke up to a soft blanket of snow and then it continued to snow all day. We got about 9 inches, which is a lot for our area. I’m not going to lie, I thought it was beautiful (too bad it didn’t happen on Christmas morning!). The fam and I enjoyed lazing around watching Netflix, frolicking in the snow, building snowmen, playing games, thawing out, hot chocolate, and then repeating this about 10 more times. Not to mention Natalie and her hubby built an awesome ice luge that the kids could not get enough of. Who cares about frost bite when you have an awesome backyard ice luge!
Then Monday rolled around. School closed. Tuesday. School closed. Wednesday. School closed. For the love of everything holy, open the darn schools! This momma had to work still! Luckily, the hubs worked from home for the first two days so we tackled the kids together and took turns with our conference calls and WebEx meetings. On Wednesday, it was me and only me with two Tasmanian devils with the worst case of cabin fever EVER. In addition to taming the Tasmanian devils, I had to tackle emails, IMs, phone calls, and a webcast THAT I HAD TO LEAD! Did I mention that I work for a huge global firm and my clients are the firm’s executive leadership!?
The kids were wild, but surprisingly good with the exception of one instance where they thought it was funny to mock me when I was on a conference call. Whatever I would say, they’d echo in the background followed by some intense giggling. That was my sh*t-losing moment, but other than that they were pretty well-behaved for being caged inside the house all day.
In between meetings my youngest would ask if I would play with him.
“You could be Donatello and I could be Michaelangelo.” E said.
“Later. Not now. Mommy’s working.” I said.
Later would come and he’d bring me a ninja turtle shell along with Donnie’s bo staff.
“What if I let you be whoever you wanted to be? You can be Mikey if you want!”.
“Later. Not now. Mommy’s working.” I repeated.
“Mommy, will you read me a book?”
“Mommy, will you build be me a fort?”
“Mommy, will you sit with me and cuddle?”
Every single time, I told them “no, later”.
My 6 year old resulted to watching Nick Jr. all day and my 5 year old ended up building his own fort and fighting bad guys all by himself. While some may say that this promotes imagination, it also makes a couple of sad nuggets….and a couple of sad nuggets make an extremely sad mommy. Then as if on cue, Facebook popped up a memory of a photo that occurred 6 years ago.
(Hubby and Beans, 2011)
So what happened 6 years ago? My sweet girl, who I’ll call Beans (not sure why I chose that for her nickname, but I’ve called her Beans since the day she was born), was fighting for her life at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter. Three days before her first Christmas she became extremely ill. In short, she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. During that time, we almost lost her when she was given a medication that she was ultimately allergic to and stopped breathing (by the way, it’s really hard to watch your child’s lips turn blue before your eyes). She suffered from multiple seizures, developed cerebritis which lead to abscesses in her brain, she lost all of the motor skills she developed in her 8 months of life, and she lost her hearing as a result of the awful disease. While at the hospital for 29 days, we were told daily “she may not make it”, “she’s not in the clear”, “we don’t know what those abscesses mean”, “she’ll never be able to hear again”, “she has swelling in the brain”, “we may need a blood transfusion.” All things that a new mommy and daddy would never want to hear.
My FB memory reminded me that life is too short and you never know what tomorrow brings. You should cherish each moment you have with your babies as if each day is the last day. So when I got off my last call, I promised myself that I would make it up to them. I would show them that they’re more important than anything else in the world.
So going forward, I will close the laptop, I will put down the phone or tablet and give my kids my full and undivided attention. I will read more books, I will fight bad guys with E, I will make blanket forts that will cover every room in this house, I’ll make more NomNom lip glosses even though they make a hell of a mess. Hell, I’ll even break out the kinetic sand that I despise! Most importantly, I’m going to make every effort to be the best mom I can be to my two beautiful babies and the best wife I can be to my best friend, my hubby.
And that’s my New Year’s resolution.