When we left for church this morning, it was sunny and slightly warmer than frigid. Boy were we in for a surprise when we returned home a few hours later!
I needed to be at church early so I rode my bike, leaving Steve to walk with the kids (2 on scooters, 1 in the stroller). I figured I would get hot and sweaty by cycling so I left the house wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Steve usually wears a coat everywhere, but today decided to only wear a sweater. Ethan wore a coat, Josiah had on a long-sleeved shirt, and Naomi wore short-sleeves and a light shawl.
On the way to church, I was cold. I’d forgotten how much the wind chills my hands and arms when I’m cycling fast. I wished I’d worn a sweatshirt and gloves. It wasn’t too bad, though, and I did work up a sweat that kept me a bit warmer.
When my family arrived at church later, they seemed in good spirits. I think they’d all been comfortable on the 35 minute walk.
Two hours later, I headed home in a rush to finish cooking for friends coming over for a late lunch. It was sprinkling as I set out, and I almost turned around to warn Steve. I didn’t, though, and just hoped that maybe he’d ask some people for rides so that he and the kids could avoid the rain.
I was already cold from being in a short-sleeved shirt, and then the sprinkles turned to rain. A storm had come just during the window of time in which we were trying to rush home. It was frigid, windy and wet. I’ve rarely been so uncomfortable outside. My hands became numb, my arms were dripping and I could hardly see out of my glasses (in the end I took them off). I knew I’d be home within 15 minutes, though, and kept thinking, “I can handle anything for just 15 minutes.” But I also was dreading what my kids might be facing if they were walking home in the same conditions.
Sure enough, Steve walked home with the kids, choosing not to wait for a car ride because he felt pressure to get home quickly to help me prepare and because I’d asked him to pick up ice-cream at the store on the way home. Naomi came in the house, just beside herself, sobbing. She was freezing cold and soaking wet. (The boys were soaked, too, but are less fazed by things like cold.) I just held her and sympathized with her, feeling terrible that she’d walked for 30 minutes in a storm with no jacket or umbrella!!
Steve was at the end of his rope, having listened to Naomi cry the whole way home, and of course being cold and wet himself. He swore he’d never walk out of the house again without a raincoat or umbrella.
We got everyone out of wet clothes, put Ethan in a warm bath, made hot water bottles and hot chocolate for Naomi and Josiah, and pretty soon everyone was fine again. Our friends arrived for lunch an hour later, and we had a good time playing Settlers of Catan with them after eating.
Oh yeah, and by the time our friends arrived, it was sunny again.