The Winter MotherAllana Harkin
Although indigenous to only certain parts of the world, The Winter Mother is easily identifiable by her down-filled coat and matching hat and mitts. For a minimum of five months of the year, The Winter Mother (TWM) convinces herself that her coat isn’t really a sleeping bag with arms and that the simple act of being able to match her mitts to her hat means that she’s not entirely insane. In the early months of November and December, TWM looks to the winter months as a time of hunkering down’ and embracing the beauty of new fallen snow and less bikini waxes. TWM’s demeanor is almost cheery with a first tracks in the fallen snow’ kind of hopefulness. Once January hits and the festive holiday season has subsided, TWM enters into a new year with the lofty goals of being less bloated and maybe only drinking on Saturdays. By mid-January, TWM concludes that being bloated ultimately aids in hibernation and consuming wine is as crucial as a migrating Canadian Goose flying in the safety of a V-formation. It’s all about survival and it suddenly dawns on TWM that this is really just the beginning of winter. With the long dark days of February ahead, TWM starts formulating plans for a winter family vacation. Even if TWM cannot afford said vacation she convinces herself of reasons why they should go:
1. One day the children will move out, and they won’t want to vacation with us (we won’t talk about how this will be 18 years from now, but it’s too cold to be logical).
2. They deserve it.
3. None of them are in jail (far fetched but the bright side doesn’t have to make sense when it’s -10 outside).
Feeling the pinch of December’s high bills, TWM may table the idea of a vacation until March and instead focus her positive energy on making Valentine’s Day into something more than it is. Although she knows full well that Valentine’s is supposed to be for lovers, she’s bought into the fact that there is no harm in making this also about her children. She scours the mall for heart shaped things and then gives away old stuffed animals to the local mission to make room for new stuffed animals holding hearts that say “I love you”. TWM feels slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing but feels like embracing commercialism will make her feel less miserable that she no longer sees the snow as pretty but more like a climate attack that is personally aimed at her.
By March TWM moves into the stage of perplexed and confused similar to that of a groundhog who has been trapped under the earth for months on end with no hole to pop out of. She asks herself questions such as “Why is it still snowing?”, “Why don’t I live in California or…Haiti?” and “Who am I?” She’s now just pissed. Seriously, why is it so cold? The official start of SPRING WAS DAYS AGO. She reasons with herself, tells herself that all this snow and non-stop Armageddon of never ending winter means that the earth still has a chance. Yes, that’s it! This is supposed to happen right?! TWM suddenly feels hopeful again even though she no longer takes her coat off in doors. I mean why bother? Still, all this snow and deep penetrating cold means that winter still exists and that her great great great great grandchildren will not be living under water. That’s got to mean something right?
So TWM decides to make today different. She decides not to talk about the weather to anyone who will listen even though she knows she secretly enjoys it. She doesn’t take a moment to lie on the floor wearing her coat simply because the floors are heated. She says NO to looking out the window and giving the finger to her empty frozen backyard. This is day TWM weathers up’ and fights back against this cold Northern climate with things like hot tea, not cursing other people’s vacation photos on Facebook and aiming space heaters directly at her feet. And maybe it’s time for a bikini wax! Why not? The idea of Spring cleaning is rejuvenating! Yes, it’s minus 13 out there today and her pubic hair is actually frozen into her body but everything hurts already, and really, it’s just a few hairs extracted by boiling hot wax? Being a lady ain’t so bad!
This all sounds possible. But … TWM reasons with herself that throwing her coat in the dryer for 10 minutes and putting it back on may also feel like a mini-vacation. Yes, that makes sense. And it can’t hurt to throw in her hat and mitts … which are no longer matching. And no one wants to put on long johns after a bikini wax. Maybe she should wait until she sees at least one bird to make any major changes. That’s it … one bird.
So she goes to the window and waits and suddenly wonders if her backyard is big enough for a pool. I mean, it’s going to be really hot outside come July. Thank goodness she has an air conditioner.
Yours in Winter,
image courtesy of trust.org
And Facebook…like us there. Please like us?
Check out our pals from Babble Voices on — Facebook!
Check out other posts by Sam and Allana