For several days, the TV news carried nothing but non-stop storm warnings. An enormous winter storm was on its way towards us… and we were due to receive upwards of two feet of snow. When I heard that Logan Airport was planning to shut down, it seemed pretty certain that we were definitely in for one snow day, and possibly two.
By 3pm on Monday, our superintendent announced that school would be closed Tuesday. I went to sleep that night feeling the usual pre-snow day dread. How would I keep everyone busy all day?
The morning started off okay. Both S and G have discovered Harry Potter. S is deep into Book Five (which she’s reading completely on her own!) and G (in true little brother fashion) is making his way through Book One. The two of them were curled up in their respective chairs, reading their books. I was curled up in the middle with my own book. It was very peaceful and cozy.
Then G got to a point in the book where Fred and George Weazly were singing a crazy, made-up song about studying for the O.W.L. exams. G thought it was really funny, and started making up his own tune and singing the song aloud. G was so pleased with himself, especially because the song had phrases like “we’re going to learn until our brains all rot!” I whipped out my phone and took a video.
I thought about posting the video on Facebook. G looked really cute. I wondered, if I did post it, if anyone would be able to guess the source of the song. It was pretty obscure. And that’s when my grand idea began to form.
A few minutes later, I posted the video, along with this message:
Worried you were going to be bored stuck at home this snowy day? Or, do you live somewhere warm… And you’re feeling jealous that you’re missing the storm of the century? Fear not. The Lobron family is dedicated to keeping you entertained and in the loop today. Our plan is to post a trivia question or challenge every hour. The first challenge is “name that song” with G. First person to correctly identify what he’s singing wins a prize. See you back here at 10 am. Stay warm everyone!!!!!
After about ten minutes, we had our first response! G, S, and I didn’t even realize someone had responded, because we were working on creating our “prize” and thinking up the 10am challenge.
And the winner of the 9am challenge is….. Jacob Allen!! Jacob, your prize is on its way! Our 10 am challenge is this: silly costume challenge!! Whoever sends us the silliest costume photo by 11am wins a prize. Go!!
We got one entry into the silliest costume contest… but it was enough to keep us going.
We spent the entire day doing the Lobron Family Challenge. Every hour, we congratulated a winner, and posted the next challenge. G, S, and I were having a blast. We did dominos, self-portraits, and even roasted marshmallows! It’s the most fun I’ve had with my kids in a long time.
And all the while the challenge was taking place, the messages were flooding in on Facebook. My best friend from grad school, a former co-counselor from sleep-away camp, a friend from when I lived in DC just after graduating college. All the people who knew me when. All the people who knew me before kids. All reaching out because my posts reminded them of the fun times we used to have together.
I’ve always been described as a creative person. I love games, crafts, and general silliness. In my basement, I have a whole box filled with Murder Mystery games that I wrote myself. After writing, I would host elaborate parties– costumes were mandatory. I created several board games. I wrote lots of stories, including a full-length young adult novel, as well as two plays (full-length musical productions that were performed at camp). I went on lots of trips with my post-college friends. At the end of each trip, I would serenade my friends with songs I wrote about our adventures.
Life is different now. The carefree days of young adulthood are long gone. Weekends are full of Hebrew school, play dates, household tasks and errands. I don’t want to over-romanticize the past…. But sometimes, in my current life, I feel disconnected from that playful, whimsical aspect of my personality that used to reside so close to the surface.
For seven hours yesterday, regular life got put on hold. With a city shut down by a snow storm, and nothing on my “have to do” list… I got a chance to reconnect with that fun person I used to be. And the best part was, I got to be that person with my kids. With no homework to supervise, no carpools to drive, no outside distractions… I became that person again. That creative, silly, energetic person I used to be.
It was a great day.