There have been tons of posts written in the last couple weeks or so about the polar vortex. If you're a Midwesterner, you're quite acquainted with that term - and the Eastern seaboard got its fair share as well. I have never experienced such frigid temperatures, and it makes me appreciate those who live in colder climates. You guys are tough!
My daughter has missed a lot of school, and with that time, she has grown restless and bored. I have as well, and it has also forced some perspective on our time at home. While we have spent some of the time baking, doing crafts, and etc - we have relied upon technology for much of our entertainment. That's fine, but it makes me aware of how quickly our attention-spans are broken. I've written posts on this before.
And then there were the deer.
The other morning, after yet another 5am phone call from our school canceling classes, I got up, had a cup of coffee, and watched the sun slowly come up. As daylight came through the windows, I looked down the hill, and saw an entire family of deer grazing on the honeysuckle in our back yard.
There were three does and a fawn - the fading speckles of its newborn coat still visible. Mama and baby were never further than a few feet away from each other, and she would lift her head often, ears rotating to hear any possible danger before it reached them. They were intent on one purpose - survival. As they pawed at the snow, looking for any fallen morsels, I had both sympathy for their winter plight and how incredibly selfish I was to be bored in my comfortable house.
The animal-lover in me was pulled to help, but the realist spoke up and said that nature has its way, and human intervention can sometimes create more harm than good. I soothed myself with the memory of fallen crab apples and the compost heap I started last year, full of apple cores, banana peels and the like.
I called for my daughter to come to the window, and we stood for many minutes, iPads and computer games forgotten as we watched this little family. She asked me, "Mommy, why do we only see the girl deer?"
I told her that female deer protect the young, and forage together in groups, while the male deer are more solitary. This led to a whole conversation about what animals do in the winter - how snakes, bunnies, lizards and squirrels survive the cold.
Which led to us reading books on the subject(with lots of cuddling.) And then we watched a documentary on arctic animals.
And this is how we spent our(hopefully)final snow day.
Thank you, deer, for reminding me that the world is much bigger than a flickering screen, and that the feeling of boredom is a luxury.