And I wouldn't even let them have the crackers.

The healing power of a clean floor (and a good man)

So last week. Can I tell you a little about last week? Three snow days. Three. Snow. Days. And it's even worse than it sounds, because Monday was not EXACTLY a snow day, but waited until everyone was safely delivered at their respective schools before all the respective administrators panicked and sounded the OH NOES WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OF SNOW COME GET YOUR CHIDDLERS NOW NOW NOW!! AH-UUUUUGAAHHH! alarm.

So okay, fine. I mean, FINE. Eventually I got all the kids safely corralled back home. They were well nigh hysterical with joy, and I was...resigned. I didn't want to get anything done ANYHOW, THANKS.

If there was one bright thought in my snowy, school-complicated day, it was that the storm was supposed to just keep getting worse throughout the day, and my class was that night, and although I am really enjoying my class, well. Snow day! Do you know how many DECADES it has been since I have had my very own snow day?

Except apparently my college is run by people who are sadistic meanies who think it's funny to toss students out on the snowy streets. They were the ONLY institution in Denver that did not cancel everything possible that night. So I spent the better part of an hour and a half driving across town at the sort of pace that makes geriatric earthworms snicker in contempt, and still sliding all over the dang street.

But I made it there, and back again, and it finally stopped snowing.

However, the next two days of school were cancelled, despite the fact that we'd only gotten a few inches of snow - BECAUSE OF THE COLD.

This is Colorado, do you understand me? I'm not living in Georgia, where a heavy frost sends the populace reeling. Colorado. We THRIVE on cold and snow. So can you even imagine the kind of cold that causes two days of no school? Can you wrap your mind around how deep and wide and heavy that kind of cold must be?

No. You cannot.

I'm talking about days where the high - the HIGH temperature for the day - was down there below zero. That is COLD. That sort of cold hurts to inhale and freezes the very boogers in your nose.

So not only were there three snow days, but they were the sort of snow days where you can't send the children outside, because it would cross that line from "loving encouragement to be active" into "child abuse." But you know, fortunately, we have a very large house.



You know the worst thing about snowy weather? What it does to your floors. Everyone's feet are wet when they come in, and soon the garage floor is covered in that particularly nasty snow/filth sludge, and before long the floor right inside the door looks like a relief map of Peru. And you can TRY to keep it clean, but people will PERSIST in having feet and walking places, and the dog refuses to stop peeing JUST FOR ONE WEEK even though you asked her very nicely, so it turns out to be easier just to pretend it IS a relief map of Peru and then you can stand around, muttering that you think you see the Nazca drawings.

And did I mention this? Sophia has given up napping.

Let me just give you a minute to let that sink in. Sophia. Has given up napping. No nap today! Or tomorrow! Or ever! So just stop hoping that you will ever ever ever be able to open a door or pick anything or take a step or try to go pee without a small face pushing past your leg, chirping, "what doing, Mama? Huh? Sophia help? NO SOPHIA DO IT STOP IT NO NO NO!"

And that is helpful. And relaxing.

A few days ago Clay called me - I don't remember when it was or why he was calling or anything, because I had sort of...sunk into a morass of despair and self pity and woe - and he noticed that I was not exactly has happy as I could be.

"What do you need, honey?"

"I want a day BY MYSELF. I want all the kids to be somewhere else and the house to be quiet."

"And what would you do, all by yourself?"

"I would clean the floor. And then? AND THEN I would lie down on the floor, and press my cheek to its clean surface, and I would just LOOK AT it. I would look at it being CLEAN. And then I would turn my head and press the other cheek to the clean clean floor and I would look the other direction. At the floor. Being clean. I would not listen to Elmo's song even once. I would not break up any arguments or offer any suggestions for conflict resolution. I would take a bath and no one would talk to me through the door. I would not care if anyone practiced their piano. And I would drink hot liquids and never have to snatch them away from anyone. I would not share my food."

I don't know if it was his great love for me, or if I scared him a little with my breathy delivery of Kira's Special Vision, but Clay gave me my day today. I like to think it was the very great love. Anyhow, he took the day off work. He took Max and Raphael to their Monday school, and took Sophia out to play and do important things, and I stayed home.

Right now the floor is clean. This morning I read the whole newspaper without saying even once, "I am READING THE NEWSPAPER." The little twitch under my eye is stilled.

Now all the children are asleep, and I am going to sleep in a bedroom that has been vacuumed AND dusted AND decluttered. And even though it is snowing right now - a lot - and even though I'm almost certain that school will be cancelled for Tre tomorrow, and even though I have to go to the dentist and get three fillings replaced in the morning, I am a happy woman.

All I needed was one day.

And one extremely wonderful man.



Clay, you are a superhero. Good one!


I love Clay.

That is all.


The only annoying thing about Clay is that he really is as good as you say he is. You deserve him, and for the record I DID spot the Nazca drawings by my front door.


It's really unfathomable why they don't put mudrooms in Colorado houses. But maybe they should call them "disgusting black sludge" rooms. And you totally need the one where there's a doggy wash in the disgusting black sludge room. And Sophia could help with that. It's win-win, really.


Clay = WIN.


Forget flowers, forget candy, forget diamonds (yeah, I mean that). This is the stuff of true love. Sigh....


You just restored my faith in love.

Not that I'll ever SEE it (in this form) first hand ... but WOW.

The One True Josh

Dude... Clay... seriously.

Making us all look bad here, man.

Jill W.

That. Is. Awesome. You description of your perfect alone day cracked me up!

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