Our preparation for the Blizzard of 2015 consisted of packing our bags and booking a hotel room. I wasn’t taking any chances. I wasn’t really concerned about this storm until I received a robo-call from our utility company warning of power outages. You might remember that back in October 2011 we lost power for 6 days.
The following year we had a few pretty big storms. One in particular dropped a couple of feet of snow on us. We did not lose power but we were trapped for 4 days.
We live on a cul-de-sac. Usually the town comes to plow the road, but only to the edge of the cul-de-sac. Later a smaller pickup truck comes to finish the job but it is usually somewhat of a wait. When day 1 came and went, I didn’t think all that much of it. On day 2 the town announced that all of the roads would be cleared by the following day. Day 3 – nothing – I started calling Public Works to a “full voicemail” message and finally no answer at all. We were left trapped in waist-high snow with no one to contact as the rest of the town offices were closed. Finally on Monday (day 4) I called the police, only to find out that they had our street marked “complete”.
I reasoned that if the power did go out the hotel should have a generator so at the very least we would have heat. If they did not have a generator, at least we would be able to get out of the place and not be trapped in waist-high snow for days on end.
I explained this to DC, leaving out the “power-outage” piece of the story.
As you also may already know DC usually loves nothing better than a hotel room. I thought he’d be excited.
On Monday morning we packed up what we thought we would need for the next few days and headed out to my office. DC loves to come to work with me so he was thrilled.
He was a tiny bit anxious about the snow but nothing really over the top. Doug came to meet us at work so that I could follow him to the hotel which was just over in the next town (someday we will talk about my sense of direction or lack thereof).
We arrived at the hotel and checked in. DC was getting himself set up at the desk as he always does, when he discovered he had forgotten the cord for his laptop at my office. I won’t go into detail about the chaos that followed, just believe me, it was a tragedy. Doug went back to get it before the roads got worse and DC, while continuing to perseverate about his cord, kept himself busy with you-tube on his phone. One would have thought Cinderella entered the room when Doug came back with that cord!
A couple of hours later he really began to get anxious, asking over and over again when he could go home. I realized that although I explained all of this to him and that this was certainly not the first time we left and stayed in a hotel due to an upcoming storm, he was still very confused. I thought about how different this ‘trip’ was from the last storm trip.
- Our previous trip to avoid a storm (although I was sure we’d be sitting in a hotel room for 3 days) turned out to be much more of a ‘real’ vacation than just an escape from the storm.
- We packed, went to work and left from there – he didn’t get to go home first.
- There was a travel ban in effect so there would be no dinner at a restaurant.
- He was very concerned about going to his friend BB’s on Friday. It was on the calendar, you know.
I told him that I understood why he was a little bit confused. I explained that we were on a “Snow-cation”. We had come to the hotel so we didn’t get stuck in our house. I also explained that the hotel was very close to our house so he did not have to worry about going to BB’s house. We would be home before Friday (I wasn’t ready to mention a specific day for him to obsess over). I did finally have to mention the threat of losing power as another good reason to be “Snow-cationing”. He liked the word “Snow-cation” and the threat of a power-outage seemed to do it for him. “Confused” became the word of the day. He used it anytime he needed the explanation again. It was comforting for him to have a word to use to explain his feelings and he felt better about expressing his confusion because I had told him that I understood. So, even though I had to explain our “Snow-cation” a few more times, he wasn’t as anxious about it.
He was able to use his computer, he read and edited some books, he went to the gym and went swimming in the pool. It was like a vacation (of sorts) to him. He was much better and a little less confused about everything.
I’m not sure that he really understood how close to home we were. Even though it was only a 20 minute drive from my job. I think that the mere fact that we were in a hotel, meant distance to him.
He was concerned about his work and going to BB’s house. I did point out a few other places in this town that we visit often as a point of reference as to just how close we were to home, but I’m not quite sure he understood.
When I was relatively sure that all was clear, our street was plowed and we had electricity at home, I told him what day we would be heading home.
“My ‘Powers’ is back” – apparently all of the explanation I had given him only led him to believe that the power was out at home –
“Yes, DC, your ‘powers’ is back”
When all was said and done, we did not get as much snow as they predicted, some parts of the state did, but we ended up with a little more than a foot. Still a foot is a foot, and I would opt for the “Snow-cation” again and now that DC worked through his anxiety, I think he would too.
I think one of the most frustrating things I encounter is thinking I have prepared my son for something and then realizing he is not prepared. The look of panic and confusion is a terrible thing to see and I will rack my brain to try to think of the way to make it make sense and make it better. I think you did an amazing job with DC!
Yes, I was so surprised after all of that explanation that he was so anxious. I actually almost thought he wouldn’t need much of an explanation as he loves hotels so much (I explained anyway). But thankfully he understood after further explanation and actually had a good time. Thanks!
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