We’ve had snow days before, so I knew what I was in for, and as always, it’s the buildup that’s the worst. Specifically, the unbridled glee of many of my Facebook friends who cannot contain their excitement at the thought of being holed up with their darling, delightful children for days on end. (“Yay! It’s snowing!!” or “Whoopee, no school today!”or, my personal favorite, “Even if there is school, my kids won’t be going!”) There are even people who brag about how late they’ll be sleeping now that they don’t have to wake up their kids for school. Oh, how I love those. They strike me as especially funny because I’ve given birth to five human alarm clocks, and even if my clock has an alarm setting (I can’t say for sure), I’ve never needed to use it.
I won’t bore you with details of the panic attack that overtook me earlier this week, when I realized that with the exception of a few hours on Tuesday, that my kids would basically be at home all week long. I won’t bore you with details of work piling up, letters unanswered, on my desk. I won’t bore you with details of the vicious snow day cycle: cook, clean up, serve, clean up, blink, repeat, a cycle punctuated by yes, happy romps in the snow, romps that come with their own cycle of laundry and muddy, snowy footprint cleanup.
Truth be told, it hasn’t been as bad as I’d thought. Yesterday the snow fell all day, and we ventured out to build igloos and a snowman and to sled around the neighborhood (a mild form of sledding given a certain broken arm). Even Francie left the house. After some mild coercion, of course.
Today, there is no snow, only freezing rain and something the weather people called ice storms, but I’m not sure what that means. I do know that none of it daunted M, who dragged us all out of the house at 8 a.m. to take us to Boeing Field where we had our interviews for our Nexus passes. These will allow us bypass the lines at the Canadian border and go through a fast track lane.
Canada, you ask? No, we’re not Canadian. Nor do we have any Canadian relatives or go to Canada with any great frequency, but there is a permit, of sorts, involved. And M, being a lover of permits and licenses could not resist. So, he chained up the car and we all trudged out. Even Sidney had an interview. The nice TSA man made the mistake of asking the famously indecisive Francie if she wanted to approve her photo, and I feared we’d be there til spring until she saw a photo she liked. When I went into the second interview with a lovely man from the Canadian border, Efram got confused, and thinking we were already at the border, asked: “You mean that office next door is Canadia?” Yes, Efram, Canadia. We don’t even know the name of the country, but we can get there quicker than just about everyone else, and that’s good enough for us.
We also have something called Global Fast Pass (I probably got that name wrong), but the kids don’t get it because you need fingerprints for it and they can’t take fingerprints until you are fourteen. So, as the first man explained to me, when M and I leave the kids with grandma and go abroad alone, we don’t have to wait in line to get back in to the U.S.
I used every muscle I had to avoid falling out of my seat with laughter. Sure thing, buddy, I’ll keep that in mind next time M and I go overseas alone. I’ve been locked inside with my kids for days on end, and I haven’t peed alone since 2002, but Rome awaits us.