It was cold this week. Very, very cold. The kind of cold that makes one think of moving to a warmer climate, like Alaska. It was so cold, even the dog wouldn’t go it. The pup looked up at me every time I brought him out and asked if he could learn to use the indoor plumbing. By Friday I was at wits end. The cold had eaten at all my native patience, a precious resource at the best of times. I hurled a coat at The Boy and a book (A small one) – Kids Love Maryland.
“We’re going to Alan’s shop,” I said, “Find something fun to do up in that area.”
Alan works in a pawn shop about 40 minutes north of us. He’s become a pal, helping us find a lovely gift for LW, finding us good bargains on items, steering us away from overpriced or bad items. He’s also a history buff and is glad to impart his knowledge to the Boy.
Let me be clear, the Boy was not suffering cabin fever quite as much as I was. A friend’s belated birthday gave him a an hour of laser tag. (He chose “FEAR” as his nom de geurre, and as we all know,it is very difficult to conquer fear.)
They went sledding in the biting cold. At first he was reluctant to go outside, but I was filled with nostalgia for winter days growing up. Hours spent sledding, building snow men and endless snow ball fights. So I bundled The Boy up and sent him out. He went off with his neighborhood friends as two area moms and I communicated with Morse code through our chattering teeth.
The problem, you understand, is that our brains hate us. The lovely memories of childhood are usually a just a cover for the PTSD that is growing up, covering repressed images of youthful reality. The agony of slogging up hills as woolen mittens turned to blocks of ice, misshapen snow creatures soon toppled when they did not spring to life, and white washes, one after the other administered by a greatly amused older sibling.
When the chill became too much for even the hardiest child, we slunk inside. The rest of the day and much of the remainder of the week was spent huddling to stay warm and lethargically (but dutifully) doing our work. But I was climbing the walls, which is what brought us to my abrupt exit on Friday.
So we loaded up and headed out, he pouring over the book of local activities, me listening to the radio and trying to ignore the nagging in my head that taking your child in a quixotic search for activity is not responsible adult behavior. He started throwing out ideas and I had to sadly let him down – closed, too expensive, the other end of the state. Then I saw the bright beacon which is the savior of any HSD south of the Mason-Dixon line – A Civil War battlefield!
Three museum staff were trading stories of the Civil War (re-enactments, they weren’t that old). Their eyes lit up as two frozen creatures stumbled into the warmth. We were given a fifteen minute personal over view of the battle, and then set loose in the well curated museum upstairs. As the only ones there, we lingered, explored and…yes….goofed around a bit.
Feeling smug and content with the educational value of our stop, we gave warm thanks to our tour guides and headed on to the pawn shop. Alan found a great deal on a nice electric piano. There are more stories about pianos and I am confident he will be a world famous musician given time. I just hope he chooses to perform in warmer climates.
Sometimes SAHD here rushes things, so this is an updated version of the post. Maybe my folks were right about the benefits of outlining…but probably not.