Nathan and I are staying at my mother's house tonight. Once a week while Paul is gone, we go to stay overnight. It gives me a weekday to rest in a bit, two days of things to do that don't require excess cash, a helper for two of his bathtimes, and an excuse to eat horribly. ("Of course I had white rice, some butter, and some soy sauce two days in a row for dinner! That's what my mom has!")
This week, SNOWMAGGEDON II is on. You've perhaps heard of this ridiculous term? The first time I did, I snorted out loud at the stupidity. Well, my mom is normally one to shovel immediately when a storm hits and then to shovel repeatedly throughout it's whole fall. When I was younger, I would curse her. No sooner would I settle down with a cup of hot cocoa to the computer would she declare that it was time to shovel. Up until I was 18 I was the worst shoveling assistant you could meet. I would take frequent breaks and huff and puff and whine. I'd tell her my feet were freezing and so were my fingers and I was dying and then I wanted a drink and then I was tired. The whole time that woman would just keep shoveling and ignore me and make me feel petty. I'd think to myself, "Why can't we just wait until the snow is done?"
As the years past and I moved out, I stopped being so angry and started to get worried. My mom is not young anymore and I don't want her to have a heart-attack due to snow shoveling. I ask her to go it slow if she must. If possible, I beg her, pay someone to do it for you. Take frequent breaks, I admonish.
So, this year, when during SNOWMAGGEDON I, she shoveled, I worried more. She told me it had made her tired and out of sorts. When I learned it was going to snow on Tuesday, I scheduled myself to be here rather than at my own home so that I could sleep over and help shovel. She asked that we start right after her Korean soap dramas were over, at approximately a half hour after midnight, and I told her it was on. Only, I geared up and slipped out at midnight, to get started without her. I told myself that if I could get a quarter of the driveway, it'd be a quarter she wouldn't shovel.
I went out in boots, jeans, a nice puffer jacket, no hat, and gardening gloves. Five minutes in, I assumed my fingers would drop off from the cold. Ten minutes or so in, I had to take up my steamed up glasses and my fingers were once again warm from exertion. I would talk to myself about how much I had gotten done. "There's a quarter of the driveway, Kitten. You can do it." I would tell myself I could give up once I reached a certain point. "Just to the porch. You're almost there." It became peaceful and magical in that way that only being out in the snow is. The pink sky and the heavy flakes in my hair made me feel great and I kept going each and every time.
I shoveled the whole damned thing. At that point, I wondered where my mom was. I came in, and she had fallen asleep watching her dramas. I laughed to myself.
I'm still impressed that I did shovel the whole driveway and I wonder if I'm stronger than I was as a teen or simply more responsible. Maybe I'll find out tomorrow when she wants to shovel the driveway some more.