The mom left behind.

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For the first time in a long while, I enjoyed some days off in a row last week. Right smack dab in the middle, too. Perfect. I made plans to clean and shop and write and create and relax. Things have been going going going since before Christmas, and I knew I needed some time to recharge. So on Tuesday morning, when the snow began to fall, I was filled with hope. We had a lot of food and no plans, and a snowstorm might be just the thing needed to keep me still. Over the next three days, we were covered in a blanket of snow as deep as eight inches. That’s a big deal for this Carolina girl! I snapped this photo from the end of our driveway on the last day of the storm.

My week was full of community and yet – no school, no work, no errands. Just a lot of folks hanging around in my home. For an introvert, this serves as both a blessing and a challenge. There was very little quiet and a whole lot of peace. There were sleepovers and video games and superhero reenactments. There were soups and pizza deliveries and baked goods and fireside chats. There were sibling squabbles and sibling snuggles and hot chocolate mustaches.

One afternoon, my husband and my dad took the boys to a golf course to sled. I stayed behind with my mom and the girls, settling in on the couch with a cup of chili while she read to the girls. She wore her token snow day outfit, a thick red sweater dress with a giant classic Tweety Bird on it. Vintage, right? But it’s the cutest.

That sweater takes me back to my snow days of yore, when my mom helped me put on my gloves and waited behind with hot chocolate and warm towels. When she dried my clothes between outside adventures and hosted my friends and made snow cream and let me take baths in the middle of day. This year, I didn’t do any sledding or snowman-building. I didn’t go outside much at all, which felt super different. But I did get to host friends for meals and assist a teenager into his boots because he couldn’t bend down in all of his layers. I did get to machine-dry wet clothes and arrange for midday baths and teach my kids about snow cream. To experience a few snow days through my kids’ eyes, to attempt to love them well despite their cabin fever, to introduce traditions to the next generation… these moments made the week one of my most memorable to date.

I never knew how good it could be for the mom left behind. Now I get it. I’ve gotten a taste of the other side, y’all, and the view from here is good.

 

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