Why is this blog post appearing in March? I like to think that I was furiously busy with time-urgent projects and random acts of kindness. Admittedly though, I was, in reality, curled up on the couch, trying not to whine about the never-ending month of February, buried in good old Canadian snow.As a closet introvert, I am as comfortable making small talk as I am comfortable getting a root canal. When in a pinch, the weather is my "go to" subject and I am pretty much set. However, this winter I got so tired of "talking about the weather" as a form of chit chat, I just wanted to start every conversation with "can we just agree that it is snowing again and move on?".I like to think we are on the other side of winter. I am hoping February was "Hump Month". Please tell me I am right!! February, the shortest month of the year, can be a killer. It is known for its dreariness and it's subsequent effect on one's psyche. Moods are low. They give students a "reading week" to ward off the blues. For some it is even clinical as a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which I understand is to a major degree, a function of diminished sunlight exposure.
As February began, we were not yet at the point that we could even begin to fantasize that "the worst is over and spring is on its way". No matter what kind of Polyanna you are, this does not fly in Canada in February. To add to the regular snow shoveling,
ice scraping and tramping around in wet boots, this year the snow flew so unbelievably that Dufferin County declared a "State of Emergency". Roads were closed. Out of towners were trying to stay somewhere other than
I had a simple ready topic for casual, witty banter.
Now it seems the rest of February includes "fun-inducing" activities, which I am sure were plopped there with good intent by those whom I will refer to as "they". I am sure "they" meant well, however, when we are buried in snow, without sunlight to cheer us,
|Thank you !|
I still maintain that as a woman in the month of February, nothing says I Love You like filling up my windshield wiper fluid. Kudos Derek.
Now, we get by February 14 just in time for another wallop. In 2007, Ontario embraced a new statutory holiday called Family Day. Again, a great idea for people with warm, loving, super-fun families, but a kick to those who are not so blessed. For those who do not have the blessing of close and cuddly relations, or even for those who do, this day may serve as an added stress in an already dark and stormy month. Our children were not brought up with Family Day, but I can just picture the
conversation on February 15. "So Mommy, what are you planning for Family Day?" Would we have skiied or maybe taken a Day Trip driving through the snow to somewhere where all other young families were trying to cram in a day of unbridled fun. Would we have had a "Staycation", playing games, baking and doing crafts? Would I have spent family day waiting for Family Nap Time. I guess I will never know what we might have planned, leaving me free to make up something wonderful.
By the time Family Day was introduced, our kids had opted out of anything that included a blood relation. I never called it "Family Day". I have always referred to it as "Kids Sleep in Late and Borrow the Car Day". As such, no one has Family Day expectations in the O'Rourke family. We just take the day off and puzzle as to
why this new statutory holiday could not have been assigned to a different month. Maybe an Easter Monday or a 4 day Thanksgiving weekend would have been nice? I puzzle as much about this, as I do about the 29th of February. Why, every leap year, did they extend this particular month. What would have been so wrong with the 31 of June?
To add to February, in 1991, I decided to be 10 months pregnant. I wrapped up February that year with the blessed birth of our son Kevin. I started March off with wider, child-bearing hips, 25 extra pounds and 2 healthy children. That was a memorable February. Worth every bit of the wait. However this choice has haunted me.
Since 1991, Kevin has had a February birthday. As a result most Februarys now included the bane of my existence: BIRTHDAY PARTIES. I have ranted previously about
hosting children's birthday parties. The difference was that in February, I was throwing a party for a boy. The only downside was that it was winter, so outdoor revelry was limited. The upside was that a party for boys has guests with much lower expectations. Little boys generally don't string beads or enjoy glitter glue. They are just happy as long as they are not told to be quiet or sit down. When Kevin was 3, Kate was 5 and decided to assume control of his birthday party. When she found that the party's structure included jumping on the couch and throwing stuff she proclaimed that "no one was listening to her" and that "this was the stupidest party ever". In all the years of birthday partying. Kevin was never fazed. He accepted whatever plan as long as there
Louder, Happier and Messier days
were gummy worms on his cake. One year, we did a "survivor" theme when the TV show Survivor was at its peak. One little boy heard the plan and announced, in a condescending manner, that he "didn't watch TV". That kid didn't get a gummy worm.
Kevin's 23rd Birthday
Since his birth, Kevin has often shared his big day with Derek's Dad. February is a special month for both. This February included a special celebration of Granddad's 80th birthday.
|Pat and Patricia|
This party was planned by 2 guys, George and Derek, who specialize in last minute successes. The Brampton Irish club was the perfect venue for Pat O'Rourke's "lot" to gather and a good time was had by all. Everyone's strengths shone. Catering by George. Entertaining the ladies, by Derek.
I guess to draw to a close my February negativity, I will now embrace March. It's time to move on. It's over. Despite good intentions, "they" have taken a cold dreary dark month and tried to spruce it up with "fun". Valentine's Day breaks up the month with many anticipated disappointments. They created Family Day to, again, set expectations that many cannot meet. To top it off, every 4 years they throw in an extra day. I am not sure who " they" are, but I hope they don't mess around with July.