Ice Twice and Everything Nice

Typical fashion in Arkansas, and well just about any place in the South, we had temperatures in the 70s one week and then “bam” the ice.  Not a pretty snow or anything Vermont looking.  No, just cloudy skies, some thunder and LOTS of sleet.  And well, when most of us are driving around in too big SUVs and our men are driving around in extended cab trucks, travel gets tough fast.  So, without much ado, schools, businesses, government and all else close.  Facebook fills with photos snapped at “Krogers” or “Wal-Marts” where the bread shelves are bare and milk is no where to be found.  And this year, well, apparently there was a run on bananas.  Not sure what that was about, but…  I make light of it, but in all seriousness it doesn’t take much to be “iced in” in Arkansas and takes little to send us all into a “tiz”.  

While some don’t like it much, this Second Season Mom LOVES it!  As you know by now, I love having all my peeps at home.  I love when plans are set aside and the lazy days of winter set in.  It’s funny how a few ice days hit and we can find ourselves doing all those things we normally only wish we had time to do.  It’s actually a little sad.  Are jobs, school and extra curricular activities so important they warrant taking priority in our lives?  Why do we let them push our families aside?   Why do we let them keep us from long family dinners, hot chocolate and silly movies, breakfasts around the table?  I wonder sometimes.  I know we all need jobs, we all need our incomes.  I get that the American way is to work hard, work long, and success means work harder and work longer.  But why?  Many studies show we are no more productive than our European counterparts, who work fewer hours and get much more vacation time. As best I can tell, the world is still spinning.  Businesses opened back up today and seemed to be moving right along.  School will carry on tomorrow and minus making up the snow days, the kids will still learn and then end of the year will come as planned.  I don’t have the answer, I don’t know how to make it happen, but I sure wish this country would learn a lesson and slow down.  I wish as a country we would once again make family more important than work.  I wish once again success would be defined by your contributions to your community and less by career accolades.  

While I can’t change America, I can once again commit to changing this family, my home.  Our lazy days confirmed for us how much we enjoy one another, our family dinners, and weekend breakfasts.  Our lazy winter days reminded us our identity lies in who we are as a family and in our faith, not in what school we attend, where we work or what extra curricular activities we engage in.  We live our life a little differently.  Sometimes my husband and I wonder if we have made the right decisions.  We wonder if we have not pushed enough for the girls to engage in all the “right” things, all the social activities that seem to define popularity.  Sometimes we wonder if we have kept too much time to ourselves, not entertaining our children, but just being with our children.  I’m sure we’ll continue to have those questions, to fall prey to the “ways of this world”, but I pray we hold strong.  You see, this ice, these days of ice and frozen roads have brought everything we find nice.  So, we’ll put the questions aside and carry on.  Life’s too short for it NOT to be about faith and family.  

I pray the ice has brought has something nice into your home, your life as well. Don’t rush.  Sit back and enjoy the moment.  Make your home a haven.  If you are parenting young children don’t stress over which school, which dance academy, how many private football coaching sessions you need for Jr.  Make time.  Just as if you were iced in, park the cars, close the garage, sit around the table and share food.  Snuggle on the couch and watch that silly movie.  If you are parenting teens, don’t be afraid to make some changes.  Don’t be afraid to decide to scale back on the activities.  There’a limited number of National Merit Scholarships and even more limited number of athletic scholarships.  Remind your children their identity lies in whose they are and who they are.  While you are at it, scale back yourself.  Come home from the office a little earlier.  Get off of Facebook, resign that board or committee.  Think twice before you say yes, and remember each “yes” is a “no” to your family.  I am reminding myself.  I’m challenging myself.  Let’s let all the nice that came with the ice continue.  

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