Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blizzards and Butterflies

Saturday morning. Those snowbanks are 4-5 feet high.
                   You may have heard we got a little snow here in the Northeast. Nemo radically changed my weekend plans. Instead of having the three final performances of my show, we were hunkered down praying the lights wouldn't go out Friday night. On Saturday, there was a lot of shoveling, a lot of reading, and a lot of eating. I have a confession to make. If you get to keep your heat and your electricity, a state of emergency is pretty fun. For my friends who lost both, it wasn't.
                   When we got the call Monday night, that school would be closed on Tuesday, I knew we had to get out of the house. The days together had gone pretty smoothly, but I knew we'd be getting on each other's nerves soon. Last winter I bought a family membership to the Boston Museum of Science. It has become one of our favorite places over the past year. For once, we were able to go when it wasn't a school vacation week. It seemed like we had the museum all to ourselves. And since we've been a couple of times over the past year, there was no feeling that we needed to rush to see everything. I let the boys lead the way and sat back and enjoyed their wonder.
                    There are several exhibits that cost a few extra dollars to see. I had never bothered with any of them before—you could easily spend an entire day and not see everything the museum has to offer. This time we ended our day with one of those extras—a trip into the butterfly garden. Outside, the snow was piled two feet deep. In the butterfly garden, it was the middle of summer. The tropical plants and riots of colorful butterflies were the highlights of our day. You aren't supposed to touch the butterflies. But apparently the butterflies don't read the signs.
                   We went back to work and school yesterday. Getting back into the swing of homework was daunting to my kids. Platitudes like, “Just think, you haven't had any homework for a week!” fell on deaf and grumpy ears. Hopefully, when they think back on the blizzard of 2013, they'll remember the four of us playing Star Wars Monopoly, cuddling up to watch “Castle in the Sky”, working as a team to shovel the driveway, and making dinner together. Maybe they'll remember designing a bobsled, or watching the solar system form in the planetarium show, or making friends with butterflies. I know I will. Thanks Nemo.