I watched from the family room, staring out the windows as inch after inch, foot after foot, the snow kept coming. The news reported that hundreds of thousands of homes were without power, people shivering in the blistering cold and housebound by unplowed roads. It was unlike any February in living memory.
While the snow accumulated and our lights flickered, I searched for answers I would not find for months.
I had recently returned to work and was trying to balance the needs of a 7 month old and my career as an attorney. Our first childcare situation ended badly, and my mother was watching the boy while we looked for another nanny.
I was struggling, drowning in a sea of despair and scrambling for a solution. I had always believed that women with expensive law degrees and promising careers, worked outside the home, at least part-time. But I was teetering on the edge of depression, feeling miserable every minute I was away from my child and stressed by a self-imposed pressure to shine at work.
The snow, which everyone else in the region cursed, gave me a reprieve. The world stopped, and circumstances allowed me to slip back into my role as full-time childcare provider.
I reveled in it.
I snuggled and played with my boy. I laughed as he crawled through the house and gawked as he started pulling to a standing position. I discovered that children learn to stand before they learn to sit down and that, when acquiring a new skill, a child is unable to stop practicing it. And I only left the house to bundle the boy in his snowsuit and take pictures while we waited for the plow.
Every day the plow didn’t come, I was secretly relieved—it meant another day home with my son, another day that Mother Nature prevented me from leaving him.
It also meant another night of working after he went to sleep and juggling conference calls during the day. It meant we might lose power and my cabin fever would continue to build.
But none of that mattered as much as the fact I was with him.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I would reflect back on this week over the coming months, as I came to my decision. I would hold onto it, a testament to the fact that I could, and would, love being home with the boy. It stood as proof that even during an exhausting period of motor development and in the face of nature’s worst, my heart was at home, with my child.
And ultimately, I would be too.
This post was prepared in response to a RemembeRED prompt for The Red Dress Club. The prompt asked the writer to recall a time when something seemed horrible but, looking back, actually brought you something wonderful.