Gratitude in Captivity

As most of my East Coast friends know, we had a major winter storm blow through last Wednesday night. Needless to say, our area is NOT equipped to handle the snow and ice and we are on day five trapped in the house and tomorrow, day 6, there will be no school, yet again.

It’s easy to complain and want to drink heavily – as the kids and moms and dads all have cabin fever! I’ve carried on with work while Andrew holds down the fort. The very loud fort. Actually, that pun is almost comical because it sounds like an actual war may be taking place in my home most of the time.

To make matters more “fun” – Abigail started running a super high fever on Sunday morning and we took a little trip to urgent care. She’s still sick and when she gets sick, boy – she goes down. Fluids and rest is the name of her game. And lots of whining. Ahhhh, the age is fun.

So, I’m all out of order here, but the snow that fell was over a foot – and in some places up to my knees and more due to the drift. It was that soft fluffy snow. All Abigail wanted to do was build a snowman. She got a snowman kit for Christmas and has been DYING to use It. Wednesday thru Saturday the kids went out for a FEW minutes at a time but every time she asked to build a snowman it never worked, the snow was too soft. Then, she got sick and we wouldn’t let her play outside.

So – here we are today. Day #5. Myself and Andrew are OVER the snow. Over the kids at home and ready for melting and summer at this point. I happen to scroll Facebook for a brief moment. I see a post from “Louis mom”. Those of you who grew up in my city, know Louis. He was our town’s super hero who was Jacksons age, and he lost his battle to cancer – just ten months ago. He was a fighter. A true super hero. Louis mom posted a time hop from exactly one year ago when we had our last snow here. (We only get it once per year) and Louis gazed out the window of the 8th floor of the Children’s Hospital and all he wanted was to play in the snow. He couldn’t. He was sick and hooked up to lines and that damn cancer…..
So they brought the snow to him. The next picture you see a little beautiful bald super hero and a mini snowman. In the hospital bed.

Tears rolled down my face, and I immediately took a five minute break, found each one of my kids and hugged them. At that moment.

The clock hit 5pm. I normally work late and don’t stalk the time. I closed my computer immediately today, got all my kids dressed – bundled my sick Abigail up, and told
The kids if we did teamwork, we could build that snowman in 10 minutes.

And that’s what we did. The snow consistency was perfect. The kids squeeled with delight, and named our perfect snow”woman” Ella. (No idea why)

All of that long story to say…life isn’t fair, And though it’s totally NOT fair that a mom’s angel has to be my reminder to sit back and not take things for granted – it was my reminder today. I’m not a perfect mom, far from it – and goodness knows my kids aren’t perfect kids – and in the midst of pure ‘suckiness’ of captivity in snow – or whatever else may be sucking right now….take a moment to count your blessings.

Let’s not feel guilty for letting the iPad babysit our kids, or yelling when they act like jerks, but may we also – just as much as in our frustrated times – capture the moments that we take for granted – in our hearts. These moments are priceless. A true, true blessing.

Although the kids cried and hated every second of layering up the snow clothes – almost as much as I hated putting it on them…we built that damn snowman, I took a million pictures, stepped back and smiled at the true gratitude of that moment….

….right before we all four attacked Andrew with massive snowballs…

Thank you Jesus, for another perfectly exhausting and chaotic day and for Your perfect reminders of my blessings.

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