Carlotta was an au pair for one year prior to coming to us. She was with a family on Long Island, NY that had four children under the age of 8 (including 2 year old twins). They were severely hit by Hurricane Sandy last year while she was with them. They lost power for 12 days. All 4 kids had breathing problems and had to be on nebulizers 8 times a day. Every night when the temperatures dropped below 50 degrees, the kids were at risk for pneumonia and they needed to find somewhere to sleep. All hotels were full and no neighbors had power. They didn’t have gas and were only allowed to get gas on certain days. Carlotta, the parents and 4 kids would sleep at a new home every night, sometimes in one room.
When we were matched with Carlotta through the au pair agency, I told her that she wouldn’t have any weather problems with us in Arizona. She could have 6 months of sunshine and no snow! Well… then I decided to have Lauren and Aidan come to Rochester for a couple of days to see opening night of the Addams Family. And then I asked Carlotta to take them on Tuesday and they would be home Friday. And then… we found out yesterday about a super storm that canceled their flight home. And now…we are stuck in a hotel in Rochester. And…the earliest they can leave is Sunday at 6 a.m. And… it is her birthday Sunday. And so…. I feel really really bad.
I hate driving in snow. When I was a senior at Michigan State, I got caught in a snowstorm after visiting friends in Ann Arbor and got in a bad accident (however, I would like to point out that my tiny Hyundai saved my life). I couldn’t leave the house for a week and when I finally went out with my friend Lori, there was another snowstorm and we got rear ended on the way to the bar.
Every time I see a bad snowstorm on tv, all I think is that it must be so hard to be trapped indoors with kids. I have lived in Arizona the entire time I have been a mom and I always wonder how people who live in the East handle snow days and driving carpools on icy roads and bundling kids up every day for months. Also, I wonder how these celebrity children who live in hotel rooms for weeks at a time must handle it when they can’t leave their hotels due to bad weather.
And so, imagine my joy when all my worst fears have come true here in Rochester, NY. Craig hasn’t seen Sam since January 1. Months ago, Craig and I planned that he would come out to Rochester tonight and surprise Sam for the weekend. His flight was canceled yesterday and it doesn’t look like he will be able to see Sam until March. Aidan hasn’t slept in his own bed or time zone in a week due to our other trip to Palm Springs last weekend and he’s a super fun 4 year old when he doesn’t get enough sleep. They all keep punching each other and/or crying at various times. But, I do understand that things could be worse. So, I’m trying to make the most of it.
The whole cast is staying here at the Radisson and we are all in it together. Sam and Jeremy are still having school today with their tutor in the hotel. Thanks to my craziness, I stocked up at Target yesterday on puzzles, games and arts and crafts for everyone. Today we took a lovely walk in the budding blizzard to the Rochester Family Dollar and somehow I spent $80 on additional crap (btw, the name is misleading. Not everything there is a dollar.) The show must go on and I hope that people will be able to come out and see the remaining 5 shows we have in Rochester.
The weather people have decided for some odd reason to name this storm Nemo. I keep telling Carlotta this all must have happened for a reason. In Disney movies, we figure out the reason at the end of the movie. On Monday, the cast and crew will load up and move onto a week of travel: 2 shows in Utica, NY, 1 show at Penn State, and a weekend of shows in Scranton, PA. My kids and Carlotta will hopefully leave on Sunday and I will not see them again for over a week when my parents come to Ft. Myers, FLA to fill in as guardians for a week.
So, maybe, I am just going to enjoy these unexpected additional days with my kids. And, hopefully, Carlotta will get her sunny, snow free birthday in AZ. And maybe, in the end, the lesson will be just like Marlin’s in the movie, when he realizes he doesn’t always have to be near Nemo to be a good parent. I can put my kids on the plane and feel ok with not seeing them again for 9 days. Or, I may kill them first. I’m not sure.