Historically speaking, I fall into the category of weather cynic. While everyone else goes Chicken Little around me, I typically greet the threat of “severe weather” with an eye roll and a mind firmly set on following through with that day’s original plans.
On January 28th, that attitude found me stuck on 22nd Street, inching up a treacherously slick hill with an empty gas tank and a full bladder. I had no provisions in the car, no blankets or sturdy shoes. After navigating down a side street and into an out of the way parking space of my own invention at Five Points, I got myself to shelter and vowed never to be so embarrassingly unprepared again.
In those hours, my cell phone became my lifeline. It allowed me to make sleeping arrangements for my children (thank you Joe and Megan Drumm!), who otherwise would have spent the night at school. Through Facebook, all 48 of my coworkers were able to account for each other’s whereabouts and safety. And then, in the days that followed, it became a depressing reminder of how quickly we can tear each other apart.
I read commentary about our school administrators that made my heart sink. I saw moms calling out other moms for their remarks about being stuck at home again with the kids because schools were closed. To be fair, there were scores of supportive comments about the City’s response to the emergency, and about neighbors helping neighbors. But in defense of those who must make impossible decisions, and those who live with the results of those decisions, I implore you to give each other a break.
When Rett and I were dating, there was a particular moment while on a weekend trip to Atlanta where the manner in which he handled an unexpected situation made me fall in love with him a little more. A particular aspect of the evening outing had not gone according to plan, and I heard him calmly say, “Think Rett. There is a solution to every problem.” With a cool head and a can-do mindset, he indeed resolved the matter, and we were on our way in no time.
I return to those seven little words rather often. There is a solution to every problem.
Don’t like how your child’s school handled communication during a weather event? Speak with them about it, and offer alternate solutions they can consider next time.
Worried about how your boss will react if you have to be away from work again because the schools are closed? Find a new job. I’ve done it, and there are no adequate words to describe what it has done for my health and that of my family.
Finding the comments of stay-at-home moms off-putting because they are home with the kids unexpectedly? Help a sister out. Invite her kids over for a play date and give your fellow mama on the front lines a much needed break. Perhaps she’ll do the same for you, but even if she doesn’t, you’ve sent good karma out into the universe.
There is a solution to every problem.
Be the solution,