Monday, January 4, 2010

It is so cold outside!!! I don't remember such a long streak of really cold weather in a long, long time. An old school mate of mine was reminiscing about how this cold spell reminded him of his days in elementary school, decades ago.
I had a flashback to the days when my sister and I were in lower elementary school. My parents were both teachers, and for whatever reason, my father was in charge of bundling us up in our winter gear for school. One year our private school had an old bus that picked up children for school. I can't remember for sure, but I imagine we had to wait outside for the bus, and it was probably not heated too well. At that time, girls had to wear dresses to school, so we would wear pants under our dressed. The pants were the type that had straps that went around the feet, so they wouldn't bunch up. It was quite a process to wear undershirts, dress, pants, two layers of socks, boots, sweater, coats, hats and gloves. I think we even wore scarves for good measure. We could barely move!
My father was in charge of our overall health when we were children. I think my mom was fairly laid back about raising children, and she did not fuss over us alot. My dad, on the other hand was the one who would help us dry our hair in front of the oven, hold our heads over the steam baths of Vicks Vapor when we were sick, and make sure we were dressed properly. I had chronic asthma flair ups as a child, and my Dad was my hero when I was sick. He (being a biology teacher) would explain the reason I gasped for air, and always made sure I had my medicine taken on schedule. He would even breathe with me, to help me calm down and not panic. However, I do remember my mother sitting up with me through the night, reading to me to help the panic over not being able to breathe ease. They were quite a team when it came to raising children.
My mother was the one who kept our lives "normal" and made sure we experienced play and fun like all children should. She was our confidant, friend and shared her affection generously. My father took the role of protector and provider. Their partnership seemed to strike a good balance with us. My sister and brother and I all turned out to be responsible, productive people with loving families. Funny how a comment on the weather could bring up all of those memories! Stay warm. . . I know I will.

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