I Survived Winter Storm Jonas and all I got was this t-shirt…

Actually, I didn’t get anything for making it through Jonas this weekend but if there were some type of t-shirt it wouldn’t be about surviving the storm but rather surviving a weekend trapped in a house with 4 kids 2 dogs and my sister in law. As much excitement as there was going on outdoors with the storm, there was even more excitement indoors with a bunch of kids hopped up on sugar bouncing off the walls. In case you’re wondering I live in Ocean County New Jersey which was in the cross hairs of this past weekends super storm (blizzard? snowstorm?…not sure what title is appropriate). At the beginning of last week forecasts were all over the map but by Friday morning everyone in the area was certain that we were going to get hit with a pretty significant storm that would begin that evening.

As any good dad would I gassed up the generator that I purchased after hurricane Sandy and waited to almost the last minute (Thursday afternoon) to put in an online order from ShopRite because who can go food shopping lugging around 4 kids? I made sure that we had plenty of bread and milk (not sure why this has become the “go to” for emergency food) even though the kids have never asked for a bread and milk sandwich, or even a bowl of bread and milk. More importantly though and maybe this wasn’t the best idea considering that we were all going to be stuck inside together, I made sure that we had plenty of ice cream and candy. There were Starbursts, Twizzlers, Sour Jacks, 4 different kinds of Reese’s products, Snickers, and Kazoozles, which sadly have been renamed “soft and chewy rods” (who ever is in charge of marketing that product and changing its name may need to rethink their career choice). We were ready for winter storm Jonas with about 10,000 calories and 20 bowls of sugar worth of candy. If we were going to die, we would die as family with a massive sugar high.

As we hunkered down and the storm progressed the hours dragged on and we grew more and more stir crazy. The time was filled by eating, eating some more, and then eating when we were done eating. I can’t think of anything worse than trying to maintain a diet or good eating habits in a snowstorm. It’s impossible. They may say that summer bodies are made in the winter, but I can promise you that summer bodies are never made in a snowstorm. We listened to music, watched movies, ventured into the front yard, and argued for a solid two days straight. I got to watch my 7 year old son perform not one, but two full length Justin Bieber concerts, choreography and all. I’m man enough to admit that I’m a fan of the “Biebs” (that’s what I like to call JB) just as much as the next guy, but hearing a 7 year old sing “If I was your girlfriend” 18 times in a row would make even Dr.Phil lose it.

During the storm we lost power a few times but nothing to serious and after I had shoveled us out on Sunday afternoon we were ready to get out of the house. We decided to take the kids sleigh riding to a local spot that everyone goes to. It was there first time and the hill was packed. My son jumped at the chance to go down first and without any care or sense of direction literally took out another young boy. I guess it’s my fault for not stressing that hitting people with a sleigh isn’t such a great idea. The kids had a blast going up and down the hill and I even joined in on the fun. There was one classic moment that we all got a good laugh from when this man jumping with excitement for his own son tripped and rolled all the way down the hill (he was ok) and another not so classic moment when I slipped and fell in front of a bunch of people as well. I guess falling in front of people and embarrassing your kids is just a dad thing.

If you were to ask me last week before the storm what my idea of a perfect weekend was I certainly wouldn’t have told you that being trapped in a house with a bunch of crazy kids and dogs was “perfect”, far from it. But in actuality there was something perfect about this weekend. With our business closed and everyone stuck in the house together it forced me to be stuck in the moment, and for a chronic worrier that’s a big deal. For once there wasn’t something pulling me in a different direction. I was able to enjoy my family without thinking about what’s coming up next. I think that sometimes whether we realize it or not we all need a snowstorm in our lives to give us that “reset” and to help us stay focused on what’s most important.