I was not looking forward to the weekend, especially after the week that I'd had. What I wanted to do was run away from home, not pack up everyone's bags and hole up in the cabin together for the entire weekend. I wanted to get away. AWAY. I didn't want to be around anyone. Instead, I packed everyone's bags, got all the food together, got all the kids snowpants/hats/mittens/gloves/boots/coats together, and drove to the northwoods. It was probably a bad idea.
The week had been filled, and I mean FILLED, with errands, and meetings, and boy scouts, and basketball practices, and choir practice, and tons of homework, and 9 parent teacher conferences at two different schools, and more meetings, and dance class, and haircut appointments (one for the dog and one for me), and Ben's 1st Reconciliation preparation meetings, and Todd gone bow hunting, and me with a sinus cold. There was so much stuff I had to write hourly lists just to make sure I didn't miss a meeting or a pick up or drop off, or my mind.
By the end of the week I was spent and I did not want to drive my 4 obnoxious children 3 hours to the cabin surrounded by 18 inches of freshly dumped snow. Kids. Snow. Cold. Trapped. Not great. Alas, that was the plan.
Todd left early on Friday so that he could plow out the driveway before we got there. It was a smart idea seeing as how it took him 3 hours to plow out the driveway with the tractor. I can not imagine the kids waiting for 3 hours in the car, after the 3 hour car ride to get there, as Todd plowed a path to the cabin.
Still, I was dreading the drive (actually the whole weekend). I normally like driving, but just that morning Tommy and I had another huge blow out (man, that kid has got to be going through a phase because we have had our fair share of blow outs lately) and it put me in a foul mood the rest of the day. It was also my dad's birthday (he would have been 83) and I was feeling a bit melancholy and sad. Basically, I was in a mood.
When the kids finally got home from school they sensed my mood. They tried their best to listen and behave and soon after we got on the road all of the boys feel asleep. Grace was quiet for the boys and it was a peaceful ride for almost 2 hours until we stopped for dinner. The kids continued their good behavior at the restaurant and my mood started to turn around.
By the time we got back in the car we were happily telling stories about grandpa and, as a tribute to him, listened to Frank Sinatra the rest of the way up north. These same little people that had me at my wit's end all week had managed to turn my nasty mood around.
We finally arrived at the cabin just as Todd was finishing up the driveway. We dragged all of our stuff inside, turned on the heat, unpacked, got into our jammies, and relaxed for the first time in over a week. And despite my snuffy, phlegmy nose I slept great that night.
The next morning I awoke to a crackling fire and a hot, steaming cup of coffee. The kids excitedly dragged me to the picture window to show me the fresh snow, and even though I wasn't ready to embrace winter just yet I had to admit it made a beautiful picture.
After an early lunch (we forgot to turn the clocks back since last we'd been there and I thought it was 11:30 but actually it was 10:30- which also means I got up at 6:30 instead of 7:30 like I thought-boo) I helped the kids back into their snow clothes and sent them back outside.
As I watched Tommy help his little sister it reminded me that even though he has had quite a few trying moments lately, he really is a great kid.
My kids are thriving. They are learning. They are trying their best. And even when they are driving me crazy I need to remind myself just how lucky I am. Even in the difficult days/weeks, even through the tantrums and the sass, at the heart of it I really couldn't ask for more.
The kids came in for the final time that afternoon and were treated to hot chocolate and cheese and crackers. We snuggled by the fire, we watched movies, and we played games.
I guess sometimes peace comes when you are least expecting it.