Ice Storm on Hallelujah Mountain

“Shine bright like a diamond.”  Head-bop, head-bop.

“Shine bright like a diaMOND!”  Head-bop, head-bop.

“Shiiiiiine bright like a diamond.”  Head-bop, head-bop.

I glared at First Daughter, who was plugged in to an mp3 player, while typing away on her netbook.  Theoretically, homework was involved.  I took a deep breath.  Didn’t work.  Took another.  My glare melted somewhat into admiration.  I don’t know if I’ve written about it before, but First Daughter really is quite beautiful.  She was wearing her leather jacket, and looking ultra cool.   Watching her grow into this lovely lady has been such an awesome experience.  She has her own tastes in music, clothes, and that’s fine.  Her glossy dark hair was pulled back from her face, showing off her perfect dark skin -



Nonplussed, First Daughter looked up from her computer and replied “Music is awesome, it helps me THINK!  She went back to head-bopping and typing away, while I started growing a gray-cloud lightning-storm above her head.

Husband entered the room muttering about “Real music”, and “Paul Simon knows diamonds,” before exiting the other side of the room.

We’re still recovering from the remnants of a nasty ice storm up here on Hallelujah Mountain.  It started off beautifully.  An inch of snow fell overnight, and therefore, school was cancelled since the roads were closed.    We don’t have snow plows here in Israel.  Or maybe we do have snow plows but they forget how to operate them each year.  Anyway, the girls bundled up and made snow angels.  Hot tea was made, warm baths were drawn… it was such a fairy-tale experience that I was actually humming “Tender Shepard” from Peter Pan.  And then the power went out.

Israeli homes are not insulated (on purpose, it helps keep them cool in the summer), and it was a few days of frozen hell.    Despite trying hard to make it work, we were snapping at each other, taking turns tantruming, and panicking as we began to see our breath inside.  Clearing the snow from the stairs to our apartment involved a hammer, a rake and a soup ladle.  No one here had ice scrapers or snow shovels. They must be stored with the snow plows.

As there was no electricity, there was no television. Tensions were soaring.  No phone, no internet, but the big crisis was the non-functioning tv set.  I don’t think ordinary families appreciate how important the television is to an ADHD family.    Television soothes the marathon brain.  It should be covered by health insurance.  We managed to finally escape down the mountain to a bed and breakfast, that thankfully had a large flat screen television.  Snuggled in bed, we let the television drone on and we felt relief.

Once the power was restored, it took a full 18 hours for the house to get reasonably warm again.  A full 48 hours after that to get our boiler working.  We’re still bundling up in multiple layers, chilled from the memory, rather than our current situation.  The puppy has taken to hogging the floor heater.  Really, we should probably start trying to get back to normal.  At least our version of normal.

We can’t be better in times of stress, no matter what the cause.  We can hold each other once the storm passes, and offer apologies.  Love and hugs, kisses and giggles.  Of course, the kids are asking when the next snow fall will happen.  They can’t wait for a repeat performance.  Isn’t that exactly what all parents want to hear – that children only keep the happy memories?

Despite the ice storm, and despite the fact that Rihanna unfortunately is still releasing music, life is pretty good up here on Hallelujah Mountain.  Sure there’s too much noise and chaos.  And yelling.  And be-bopping.  And phone calls from teachers.  And notes from teachers.  And praise from teachers: “Really, your First Daughter is so smart, does it really matter if we implement the IEP recommendations?”  And doctor’s appointments.  And birthday celebrations.  Second Daughter and Third Daughter have begun sewing projects.  First Daughter has started keeping a diary, in English.

As long as you can hide under the covers every once in a while – who wouldn’t want a life like this?


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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michele Chabin
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 11:49:11

    Love your writing. We, too, have a child with ADHD. Fortunately he does quite well in school (in Jerusalem) but we, too, have a terribly noisy household. We lost electricity for just 6 hours, most of it during Shabbat, so didn’t miss the TV. Had we lost power during their 4 days off from school, I would have gone insane. It was tough enough as it was.


    • shadowdaughter
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 21:12:47

      Thanks for the compliment. :) It’s great that school is working out well for him – I hear that there are a lot of great resources for ADHD kids in Jerusalem. Hopefully we won’t have to go through another ice storm any time soon, that is way too much stress for families like ours.


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