Sunday, January 27, 2008

Forced slow down

The snow is whipping around horizontally out the window of the chalet. The ski instructors have promised not to take the kids up too high. The winds are gusting to 80 mph up at 8,000 ft. I just went and bought the kids gaiters that cover every inch of their faces. The inside of Harrison’s coat is damp, but not the outside. I don’t know why. Ella’s cheeks are bright red and one of them looks like it might have the beginnings of frostbite.

Harrison has buddied up with his instructor. The other three boys in his ski class all know each other through a previous connection. I told him to talk to the girls – they’re usually better conversationalists. Ella came to the lunch table with a friend. They already seem inseparable. This girl is also in Kindergarten and knows two of Ella’s friends. The other twelve classmates (a doubled-up class) are boys.

Chris and I have holed up in a corner. We have a newspaper, a couple of books and a spiral notebook. We have spent the morning planning our future home improvements even though we should just concentrate on the things undone. The bathroom addition is still incomplete, as is the new office/bedroom, the mammoth deck with outdoor kitchen and fireplace, and the fence. We found out the hard way that adding porches, etc. cost much more than we expected. We wanted to hire everything out, but it became unfeasible. Chris worked on the indoor projects this fall and winter when he had time, but now has use of only one arm. For 12 weeks. We will be on hold until April probably.

This will be our routine for the next seven weekends. I will ski a couple of the Sundays, but I don’t really enjoy skiing alone for long periods. Chris, of course, can’t do any of our favorite winter activities. I guess I’ll have to step it up and become Fun Mommy. Chris has always been Fun Daddy. He takes them sledding and builds forts with them. He plays “Sorry” for hours – and always tries to let Ella win at least a couple of times. I was talking to him about why they clamor to hold his hand when we’re walking in parking lots, or why they beg to sit next to Daddy in restaurant booths – I was asking why he was the “favorite”. He bluntly told me that I should start doing things with them.

As hard as this is to swallow – I am guilty as charged. I will be more than happy to set up the craft materials for them, but rarely stay too long at the table to participate. When we rent “kid” movies, I always retreat to the computer or go clean something. Chris loves to snuggle between the two and giggle at everything. Kid movies aren’t usually my cup of tea – even when I was a kid. I need to start giving them a chance.

I think these day-long “dates” in the chalet, waiting for the kids during their lessons, will be great for our marriage. The last time we had this much time to talk, without distractions, was last summer when we drove to California. I love to plan our future – and that is usually what we discuss when we know we have time. We talk about bills, financial planning for retirement, our families, the house and sometimes we even talk about fun stuff – like vacations.

Anyone want to meet us in Disneyland? We’re thinking the summer of 2009.

1 comment:

mamalife said...

I, like you, often feel guilty that I have a hard time sitting down just to have "fun". I think it is a mom thing... always trying to get everything done. If we sit still, feels like "wasted" time when we know the kitchen needs to be cleaned or what ever. "Play with me" my daughter often asks. Make it Disneyworld instead of Disneyland and you'd have yourself a date :)