I’m a planner. Everyone who knows me knows that. By Saturday morning, I have the menu finalized for the coming week. By Thursday of each week, I have the schedule for the coming weekend. But there’s one thing that I never seem to plan for, and that’s winter in Chicago. Sure, I heard the weather report all day yesterday – three inches of snow by morning rush hour. But did it dawn on me that perhaps I should look for snowboots and snowpants yesterday? So that if I couldn’t find them, I could go to KMart and buy some?
Maybe it’s denial. I know that I live in Chicago. I know that the first snowfall usually comes around December 1. But just as I can’t imagine in mid-September that within a few weeks we’re going to need coats and gloves, I really can’t imagine until that first snowfall that it Really. Is. Going. To. Happen. Again. (It was a small consolation that the People’s Republic of Oak Park and the CTA also appeared to be caught off-guard, as the streets were unplowed and the steps to the el platform unsalted.)
The scene in our house this morning was one that plays out every year around this time. Contents of the front closet strewn about the foyer. Every drawer in the kids’ room flung open. Me running around like a madwoman audibly ticking off places where the boots could be. Margaret, wanting me to snuggle with her. (“Okay, Mommy, 5 minutes look for David’s boots. And then 5 minutes snuggle to me.” In true Margaret style.)
And then the slow realization that I gave away David’s boots and snowpants in a fit of efficiency this summer (which I totally blame my sister for, of course. I was her weekend of organizing that caused my efficiency fit). The boots were too small, after all. Some other child could benefit from them. Not remembering, of course, that it might be good to hang on to that slightly-too-small gear until I buy new stuff, as slightly-too-small boots will do in a pinch (literally).
Margaret got lucky this year. We got a whole shipment (literally) of hand-me-downs after my fit of efficiency, so she had boots and snowpants.
No, it was David who suffered. David, whose school demands that children show up in snowpants and snowboots or they can’t play in the snow. And Tim, who delivered David to school, only to face the wrath of Miss Francis (you mean, his boots aren’t somewhere in the HOUSE???!!!!)
I wonder if Tim’s home from KMart yet…