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Oh the Weather Outside Is Frightful . . .

The Christmas I was pregnant I asked Santa for a couple items I thought no mom should be without – a super-sized electric griddle and a deep fat fryer.  I was sure the fryer would make me the coolest mom on the block, and the griddle conjured up pictures of sleepy weekend mornings, a big pile of steaming pancakes, and the family sitting around the dining table enjoying a leisurely brunch.
That picture came partially true recently; we got socked with that New York blizzard this weekend, and were forced (!) to stay home for a good 24 hours.  Honestly, is there anything better than being snowed in with a full freezer, a warm house, and nowhere to have to go?

The answer is yes – all of the above, plus a baby girl who is experiencing a blizzard for the first time.

So we slept in Sunday morning (well, as much as Maddie would let us – 9 a.m.) and had our leisurely breakfast.  Buttermilk pancakes, excellent Tennessee bacon, Vermont maple syrup, and the wind howling around us.  Maddie sat at the table having already had her breakfast, chomping happily on an empty spoon.  My industrial-sized griddle blazed through the meal – a bit like using a helicopter to go three blocks, but I was giddy with excitement and determined to use it.
Once our slow morning was past, it was time to get down to the business of experiencing eight_months_044.jpgthe snow.  Brian had been outside once in the midst of the blizzard to get a jump on shoveling snow, and Maddie had stood (well, been held) by the big front window with her nose and hands pressed against the glass, entranced.  The snow was blowing sideways in a thick sheet of opaque whiteness, and she couldn’t quite figure out what to make of it.  But she was sure she’d love it.  Every once in a while, she’d turn and smile at me as if to say, “Isn’t this the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?!”  I’d start to take her away from the window and she’d cry, so I held her there until my arms gave out.
That was the morning, though, and by afternoon it was time to get out there.  The snow had slowed down a bit, so we bundled Maddie into her several layers (no mittens, though – still can’t get that kid to wear mittens.  The compromise was pulling the coat sleeves down over her hands-) and headed outside. 
She blinked as the snow hit her face sideways, and then tilted her chin to get the full effect.  eight_months_054.jpgThe bracing cold air caused her, predictably, to squeal for joy, while Mommy was already saying, “When can we go in?”  We walked through untouched snow two-feet deep to get to our backyard where she stared, wide-eyed, at the changed landscape.  She stood next to the birdbath, with its pile of snow almost taller than she, and rippled her (bare!) fingers briefly through a feathery pile on top of the grill.  She was surprisingly quiet, taking it all in, and I can’t help but wish that these were the sort of memories she’d be able to keep as she grows older.  I guess I’ll have to remember for the both of us.

We spent the rest of the day in true snowed-in fashion: lots of naps (hers and mine), punctuated with periodic shoveling (Brian’s), and topped off with lazy frozen dinners.  It was truly one of those simple days that seem to be outside of the calendar year – as if we hit the pause button on our life and had a free time-out period to hang out and enjoy each other.  I know life cranks back up eventually, but it was fun while it lasted.

Sometimes you get a picture in your head of how something wonderful would go - the perfect Christmas, the perfect birthday party, the reunion at the airport with a spouse you haven't seen in months.  It's as if you've seen it already in a movie, and know ahead of time how great that day/event has the potential to be.  Life rarely lives up to those expectations, but sometimes it exceeds it.  Today was the Lazy Snowed-In Day of Cuddling, and it did not disappoint.

Next blizzard – deep-fried donuts at my house!


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