Today is NOT a snow day for my two youngest school-aged children in Alabama, but I’m thinking about snow days just the same.
Yesterday, my kids had high hopes that it might snow in the southeastern part of Alabama, where we reside. The weather forecasters were not predicting it, but other parts of our state were actually having the winter precipitation fall on their landscapes and my kids dreamed that it might happen at their house too.
It was cold and the sky was filled with the gray clouds that might contain snow…and it was cold. Did I mention that it was cold? And it was windy with a bone-chilling wind.
When my husband and I picked up our youngest from school, where he stood in carline wearing his uniform khaki shorts (yes, my kids wear shorts to school in January because we live in south Alabama) with his P.E. athletic shorts on below his uniform shorts. I use the preposition “below” because that is where the athletic shorts were…around his legs (not his waist) below his uniform shorts, covering as much of his otherwise exposed legs as they could.
When he climbed into the back seat of our vehicle, I asked, “A bit cold today?”
“Yes,” he replied.
I asked him if he thought it was cold outside a second time, to emphasize the parental point that I was preparing to make, that when he had walked out the door seven hours earlier, that his momma (me) had advised him that it would be cold throughout the day. That the chilly 40-something degree temperature that had greeted us that morning was only going to drop throughout the day.
He understood my meaning and then asked if we could make hot chocolate when we got home.
“Of course,” I said. “It is the perfect kind of day for hot chocolate.”
So we made hot chocolate when we got home and even started a fire in the fireplace.
My 16-year-old arrived home from soccer conditioning (running, NOT practicing) a while later.
I asked him if he had worn the Northface-type jacket that he had on, when he was running, knowing that if he had it would need a washing immediately.
“Of course not,” he answered.
“Then what jacket did you wear because I don’t see you sweat jacket,” I asked.
“I just wore my t-shirt and shorts,” he replied. “And it was cold,” he added.
I made him repeat the “And it was cold,” part and then reminded him that I had issued the motherly warning about cold and windy weather as he too had left for school earlier in the day.
I felt good that I had been validated as a mom who usually checks the weather for the day so that I can give weather advisories that are never heeded by my children.
And after I felt validated as a conscientious parent, I joined in the impossible dream that my 16-year-old voiced, “I hope it snows. I hope we have a snow-day tomorrow.”
I knew that the weather forecast was for cold dry air to follow the windy-cold day we were having…that the clouds that held any remnants of winter precipitation hopes would be blowing out of our area during the nighttime hours…still I dreamed with them and pretended that it might could happen.
I grew up in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas and we did see winter weather that dropped snow on our Ozark hills. We did have snow days…and I loved them.
I loved being snowed in with school being cancelled and piling on layer after layer of winter clothes to go outside and sled or build a snowman only to come in short time later and have to take off layer after layer of wet-from-playing-in-snow clothing.
I loved the quiet of a new snow that blanketed the country setting where my family lived. I loved making boot-prints in the snow and then trying to retrace them exactly so that it looked as if you had traveled in one direction and didn’t return. I loved looking at the frozen pond in the pasture next to our property and watching snow gather on it.
I have lots of memories of snow days. My children only have one memory of snow collecting in a few inches and covering our south Alabama property. But it was a grand day! We had all donned layers of what winter clothing we had and sojourned in our winter wonderland for most of the day. We built snowpeople and my kids sledded down the little hill in our yard with their boogie boards usually reserved for use at the beach or in the swimming pool.
And so we dream…my kids and I…of miracle snow days. And we hope that maybe, just maybe, we will have another wonderfully memorable snow day in the winter months left to come.