The last straw came with this announcement from my seven-year-old daughter: “Uh, Mom, my jacket is ripped again.”
“Noooo!” I moaned. “Please, not the winter jacket!”
“My jacket is way too small,” chirped her older sister.
“Your jacket is just fine,” I told her.
Then I took a good look at both of them, standing there dressed to face yet another icy winter school day. My youngest sported a ripped jacket, holes in the both knees of her snow pants, leaky boots, and she was wearing one mitten and one glove. My oldest had ripped ski gloves and holes in her snow pants and when she raised her arms above her head, I could practically see her bare elbows.
“Don’t worry about it. Just pull your shirt sleeves down and don’t raise your arms above your head when you are outside,” I advised, trying to stay positive. “Spring will be here soon and you won’t have to wear these anymore.”
Our family is limping over winter’s finish line. My daughters’ outdoor clothes are falling apart and even if I wanted to shell out the bucks to replace them, I wouldn’t be able to find any in stores.
What I really want to do is gather all their grungy, smelly winter jackets, snow pants, boots, mittens, hats and scarves into a big pile, set it on fire and dance while it burns.
I’m done with keeping track of mittens and hats, of tripping over boots in the mudroom, of discovering soggy snow pants hidden inside book bags just moments before we have to leave for school.
We did our best to embrace winter and stay positive. We made the best of the Christmas ice storm, got distracted by the Olympics, went skating and tobogganing and enjoyed a family sleigh ride. We’ve snuggled indoors and played board games, baked banana muffins, cooked lovely winter soups and watched Frozen.
Now I just want to toss Olaf the Snowman on a hot beach and watch him die. I want to throat- punch Facebook friends who post beach pictures from their winter getaways. The only thing getting me up in the morning is looking forward to repeatedly watching a YouTube clip of a guy who smashes his shovel with a sledgehammer.
Even the bright light of my winter – Roll up the Rim to Win – is just taunting me. I won four doughnuts in my first week of trying to give up sugar.
We’ve been trapped inside by icy concussion-inducing, deathtrap snow. I’m like a bear in hibernation, except I’m adding to my fat rather than living off it. I feel like I’m in some kind of dreary winter-induced coma. My youngest didn’t wear socks to daycare during the last snowstorm, and I didn’t even notice.
I just want spring to arrive. I’m dreaming of those carefree summer days when the girls can toss on sundresses and flip flops and be out the door without a ten-minute episode of Mudroom Mania.
A quick look at the 14-day forecast tells me that my dream won’t come true anytime soon. It will be a few more weeks until I can set my bonfire and even longer before we can pull out the flip flops.
Until then, there’s not much I can do except try to live in hope that spring is around the corner, and be extremely grateful we picked this year to buy our first snowblower.
Li’l Girl Talk
“This is affecting our education. Curse you Mother Nature!” says The Oldest, age 10, overheard discussing the weather with her friend.
Kathy Kaufield is a writer and communications consultant. She doesn’t really want to watch Olaf die.