No More Snow Forts

by Jamison Koehler on February 13, 2014

Thirty years ago my wife and I hustled across Key Bridge from Georgetown into Rosslyn so that we could hole up in my apartment during a major snowstorm.  Stopping at a grocery store on the way there, we did not see another human being for the next four days.  We were cocooning before anyone else thought of that use of the word.

I was remembering this fondly last night while waiting for the most recent snowstorm. I got home from court in the late afternoon, stopping at Eddie’s for some provisions.  A couple of hours later, my wife called from the beltway to let me know that she was delayed by traffic.  And it was starting to snow.

Once again, it is just the two of us.

Twenty years ago, my wife and I drove our young children to Capitol Hill one weekend for some bagels. I remember an older couple sitting on the back porch of a townhouse with their coffee and Sunday paper spread out in front of them. I remember envying them for the lazy, unencumbered Sunday they had in front of them.

I don’t feel that way now.

My wife and I do our coffee drinking and newspaper reading at our local coffee house. It is liberating to be so free every weekend morning:  no laundry, no sporting events, no birthday parties or acting classes, no driving people around.

The On The Hill people have assured us that, because they live in the neighborhood, they will always be open.  So we bundle up and trudge over there through a foot of wet, undisturbed snow.  But the coffee shop is closed.  And we find that the newspapers haven’t been delivered yet.

Somewhere across the country, our children are sleeping in, unaware of the good fortune that has befallen us.  Studies have shown that people are actually happier after their children have left home. I don’t know about other people.  I miss the kids.

* * * * *

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8 Comments on “No More Snow Forts

  1. I agree. Maybe those doing the study confuse peace and quiet with happiness. For me happiness is connected with some sort of motion towards a goal and what more worthwhile goal than the raising and caring of children!

  2. I think it’s more of a deep-seated happiness with one’s children embedded within.

  3. I know I’m happiest when our boys are home with lots of friends playing loud music and eating up all our food!

  4. Geneva: Enjoy to the time with your still-at-home son while you have it.

  5. My older daughter leaves for college this fall and I already miss her. I don’t know how I’ll deal with both of them gone!

  6. Carolyn: Some people say they have had the most problems dealing with the first child leaving the nest. They then have experience in preparing themselves for when the next child leaves. For me, however, it was the last child leaving that has given me the most heartache.

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