School was canceled today. It snowed last night and was icy this morning, so the kids got a day off at home. Snow days are like crystalline gifts packed into the dreary rainbox that is winter in the Pacific Northwest. They are days to slow down and stay warm and enjoy the surprise of having nothing in particular to do.
I woke before the alarm and made my way to the kitchen to get some coffee. The sun was shining, which is also a nice surprise here at this time of year. I fed the dog and tried to be quiet, but I wasn’t quiet enough. My son appeared in the kitchen, sleepy-eyed and wrapped up in his blanket, asking, “Is there no school because of the snow, Mommy?”
“Not today, sweetie.”
He reminds me there will be school tomorrow (he loves school) before disappearing downstairs with his iPad and cereal.
I stare out the window at the icy road and am grateful for this day. My daughter, still sleeping, graduates from high school in a few months, and this may very well be the last snow day of her childhood. I laugh to myself because that’s where I am now: everything with her has become what may be the last fill-in-the-blank of her childhood. Bittersweet and exciting all wrapped up in a cluster of emotions that go round and round like a Ferris wheel in my heart.
I take a sip of hot coffee.
I call my parents in Florida, and we exchange weather reports. We agree that they’ve got the better end of the stick today. As we chat, my daughter appears and makes her tea and toast. Then she retreats to her room to finish waking up. My son reappears to talk to his Grandma, and then he dances around the living room, full of joy and life. My mom, who has heard the dancing over the phone, says, “He is such a sweet boy.”
We three have a lazy day of snacking and doing a whole lot of whatever-we-want. The sun shines, and the snow drip, drip, drips off the roof. Kids play at the park across the street, and traffic picks up as the roads clear. We stay in comfy clothes as the afternoon passes by.
My daughter laughs in her room on the phone with a friend. My son listens to music downstairs. The dog snores next to me. My fingers tap these keys and write these words.
This is a good day.