Dear Old Broad Winter,
As I’m sure you’re aware, people are talking about you and not in that, “Oh she looks good for her age,” way. (Because honestly, no one cares if people are talking about you if they are issuing commentary on your youthful looks or your tight buns.) It’s no real surprise that your actions would garner more attention than those of your weaker, wussier counterpart Old Man Winter. (Temps below -20 and hurricane snow could only come from a tough broad.)
Your takeover of society has been going solid for a few weeks, yet I’ve heard numerous ramblings across this land involving harsh, dare I say obscene words describing you. Old Broad Winter, let me apologize for humankind. They are simply not experiencing your wondrous glory as I and they know not what they say.
It seems other members of humanity don’t like these frigid temps and frequent snowfall because it leaves them housebound. To that I say, “Housebound? Hells yeah!” For a working mother exhausted by the constant pace of our school-year life, there is nothing, and I mean nothing better than being housebound in a manner that is totally beyond one’s control.
Housebound is the one time where mommy guilt cannot pry me out in search of an entertainment opportunity for my rambunctious offspring.
“Mom, can we go somewhere?”
“Nope- roads are too slick.”
Housebound is the only time I am able to tamp-down my latent Martha Stewart kitchen tendencies and slap a sub-par dinner on the table scrabbled together from scraps found in the pantry.
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”
“Whatever the hell I can find kids. Looks like tuna cakes, pickled beets and a side of Sponge Bob Mac and Cheese tonight.”
Housebound is the one time I can disregard my educator opinions regarding the negative effects of electronic devices on impressionable minds and comfortably say,
“Sure boys, you can have another 3 hours on the IPad. Just make sure there’s no shooting or bloodshed.”
Best of all, housebound is the one and only time when my word is gospel and even my most argumentative child does not feel the need to take it to the final stop.
“Mom can we go sledding?”
“No, it’s minus 14 out.”
“So? I can wear my snow pants and extra gloves.”
“Son, if you go sledding when it’s -14 degrees, within minutes your face will crack, your teeth will break off, your testicles will freeze into ice cubes and you’ll never be able to give me grandchildren.”
“Mom, that isn’t true.”
“Trust me. I’m a science teacher.”
“Is that a risk you’d like to take Number One son?”
“I didn’t think so.”
Old Broad Winter, I feel that those who disparage you simply are unable to see things my way. No, I’m not some sanctimommy who so loves the fruit of her loins that she feels said fruit can do no harm. Hells no. I understand the pain that can come from an extended period of time trapped with one’s offspring with snow falling and temps reaching somewhere near that of a polar bear’s butthole. But this year, in my aged genius I’ve found that answer. Embrace the Broad.
While my snow-day parenting may not be getting a segment on The Today Show any time soon, it is a viable survival method to get through extended bouts with Old Broad Winter.
This year I’ve changed my focus and instead of looking at a week of Siberian temps with dread and fear, I look at this as an opportunity to give my sofa a workout. I embrace the chance to mandate afternoon naps for all and spend quality time feeling the sensation of my dimpled thighs melting like hot butter over my sofa-pancakes.
When the time is right, I whip up a hot toddy (which may or may not have an extra shot for therapeutic reasons) and kick my tootsies up in front of a raging fire maintained by my loving Turk (who may or may not have pyromaniacal tendencies.)
When the shrieks of sibling rivalry bust my chill, I calmly suggest (from the sofa of course,) that the matter might best be solved by a cage-match in the playroom and remind all involved that should stitches be required, I will be doing them myself with a rusty needle and a shoelace. (One would be shocked by how successful a deterrent such imagery can provide. Give it a try.)
I also like to use this time to indulge in activities that won’t risk calorie burning. During times of glacial temps, one needs to keep all stored body fat and I am secure in the knowledge that the extra 20 pounds on my ass ensure my prolonged survival.
So Old Broad Winter, now that I’ve learned how to love you, I no longer dread you. I look forward to your interruptions to our hectic life. I’ll take your housebound sentence and raise a mug of hot whiskey in your honor. Bring it on Old Broad. This year, I might be one of your biggest fans.