Today, after my biweekly swim at the Y, I concluded with a dip in the bubbling hot tub. This is always the way I end my swimming sessions, but today I savored those moments all the more. I can think of few better ways to rest my weary parenting bones than by soaking in a large tub of warm, soothing water, air jets at my neck and feet. As I laid there, eyes closed, all of the stress and details of life at home, all of the layers that have yet to be gotten to, disappeared for just a while like the condensation rising from the tub’s surface…higher and higher and away. As I made my way out into the parking lot through sunny but frigid weather and plunged into a frozen van, I resolved to not soon forget that brief but exhilarating utopian experience.
And that is how we survive the winters here, dear friends in warmer places. We take our hot-tub moments and stretch them as long as possible, even if only in our minds. And then we retreat to the indoors and go about our lives as we wait for the thaw.
Now, to get to a few of those layers I mentioned earlier. On my list for today: sort through the foot-thick pile of school papers that has been mounting. It’s what we parents rightly call paperwork.