On Friday, a winter storm warning made its promise. A heavy sprinkle of fat snowflakes descended quickly from the sky in the morning, beginning a definitive accumulation on lawns and cars and kids at bus stops in a few minutes. We were transfixed on the possibility that it could actually stick around and create all things magic and havoc. It became the biggest surprise snow day because the storm was building fast.
This kind of precipitation is a rarity in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia area. In my recent history, our last major snow, dubbed “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowmaggedon,” was in 2014 and resulted in the most frustrating, dangerous situation a metro city could experience. The city announced a shutdown at lunchtime, including suddenly closing schools, and everyone sped to the highways as temperatures dropped on wet roadways. A 200,000+ vehicle traffic jam ensued just after a weak sand solution was laid out on the main artery roads…the cars pushed the sand into the ice…the sand, then, did not exist.
I left my office that Tuesday 45 minutes after my husband. He got home in our normal 20-minute commute four hours later. It took me almost eight hours. This included a two-mile hike in the cold.
I was lucky. Countless people spent the night in their vehicles on the highways in the 14-degree temperature.
Needless to say, the city and its surrounding neighbors learned a lot from that debacle. So, when The Weather Channel announced the possibility of snow, we sat up and listened.
We also cleared the stores of milk, bread, and beer, but that’s tradition.
I can’t help but to compare snowfall in our area to the worst of parenting. Beyond the certainty of horrendous traffic and zero bottled water in stores, snow also could mean incoming weird weather patterns, days in the house with bored children, and potential widespread power outages.
What’s better than snowfall in Georgia?
A kid losing their lovey in the house. Searching for it gives the parents cardio and the kid is eventually sated.
A blow-out diaper. At least the baby is relieved. The parents had to do laundry and give baths, anyway.
Separation anxiety. Eventually, a caregiver can distract a toddler with an activity and they, theoretically, forget that mommy or daddy left the house.
The difficulties in work-life balance, particularly for working moms. Sometimes, we get as close to “balance” as realistically possible. Those times remain the standard we always try to hit.
Uncertainty. Fear sucks. We never know if we’re doing this parenting thing “correctly.” There’s no manual to this. We truly won’t know if our methods worked until our children become decent or indecent adults. How scary is that brand of “unknown?”
Nope, I’m lying on that one. I’ll take the snow over perpetual sleepiness on any day.