The First Snow Day

We had our first snow day, Monday, which almost, but not quite, broke records.

I knew it was coming weeks ago, however. I can predict snow days based on when my husband has his winter conferences. When Dr. Stevens leaves, he sucks a polar vortex into his wake.

It happened the first time in 2003. We lived in balmy North Carolina, two hours from the beach. We had magnolia trees in our yard. Our neighbors were genteel. But he went to conference, and I found myself in the middle of an ice storm with an infant, a toddler, and no power for a week. Like most of the folks in our neighborhood, we ended up abandoning our home and staying in the basement of one of my husband’s coworkers—people I barely knew.

But fear not! By the time his plane flew back again, the electricity was on.

Summer conferences aren’t safe, either. Four years ago we adopted a pregnant cat two days before Dr. Stevens left for a week. While he was gone, I was hand-feeding premature kittens every two hours around the clock, traveling back and forth with cats and three boys to the emergency vet, getting those three boys into their first day of school, and taking breaks between kitten feedings to bury the ones who didn’t make it (all but one) in the backyard.

But fear not! By the time Dr. Stevens got home, Momma cat and the remaining kitten were safely fostered with a more competent person than I am. T he boys had figured out their bus schedules all on their own.

I always expect some disruption from the routine when one of my men travels (because now I have teen sons who go to camp and band workshops and and and), but it seems that in addition to the usual insomnia, meal disruption and carpool re-sorting that some kind of minor apocalyptic event occurs that has me using oxymorons all over the place.

What throws your life out of whack? And how can you tell if your life is IN whack?