“It’s a s–n–o–w day!”
Last night my daughter warned we weren’t allowed to say the actual words SNOW DAY because then it might not happen. HA! Well it did indeed happen…on November 18…REALLY?? Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised since our hometown WAS the 4th snowiest US city last year!
So early this morning (WAY too early for a day off of school) my daughter came into our dark-as-night bedroom where I was still cozy under the covers – I surely wasn’t going to pass up a chance to sleep in!
“Mom, can I use the iPad?”
At 6:45am? No. Just no. I didn’t mean to dump cold water on her already frozen morning, but there were too many hours ahead of us for the glow of a screen to light up before the light of day. I tossed out several other options, but she shot down each one with verbal snowballs aimed to freeze out every idea but her own. I gave up and buried my head back in the pillow.
“This s–n–o–w day might be a l–o–n–g day.”
My husband, now roused from his hibernation, asked if she wanted to help him shovel the night’s accumulation and learn how to use the snowblower. HA! Just like that he deflected her insistent pelts and playfully lobbed one back at her. That snowball didn’t have a chance.
“Uh, actually I think I’m gonna write that letter.”
Apparently she had warmed up to one of my earlier suggestions, suddenly finding it more appealing than the buried driveway. I smiled against my pillow as her shadow disappeared from the doorframe.
Perhaps other home-bound kids wrote a snow day letter to Santa this morning, with today’s winter wonderland performing a dress rehearsal for Christmas. But my daughter’s too old for that, and we’ve never been big into Santa anyway.
From the array of pre-dawn activities I had offered, she chose to write a snow day letter to a boy from our former church, who in the blink of an eye (or the turning of several winter seasons) is now a young man going through basic training in the army. Maybe you know this time warp feeling?
“The days are l–o–n–g but the years are short.”
When I came downstairs for breakfast a while later, my early riser was disarming and sweet, proudly handing me an envelope with a Freedom Forever stamp waving its American flag. (Can I pause to tell you how much I love her?)
I searched my inbox for the mailing address and copied it onto the envelope. Feels strange to see a student’s name now prefaced with the title initials PVT. Time keeps marching forward whether we notice or not.
As I printed the numbers and letters for the out-of-state army post, I thought of this young man’s mother, and glanced over at my son savoring the childhood freedom of an elementary snow day. (Can I pause to tell you how much I love him?)
Her boy was once this age. The years really are short. My mind swirled with the prayers she must pray for her child out of state, out of her gaze, her reach, her embrace.
These military recruits are young men and young women, adults in the eyes of the world, sworn to defend and protect their country even at the cost of their own lives. Yet they are also daughters and sons, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, ones for whom someone else has also made an oath.
“I would defend and protect this child with my own life.”
This is hard stuff. There is no easy street – neither in parenting nor in growing up. And so I decided to write my own snow day letter.
Who will be the recipient of your snow day (any day) letter? I’m guessing there’s someone who needs to hear they’re on the right path, even if the road is hard.
If you have a story, please share in the comments below. Stay warm!
- Jimmy wins, Love wins, Everybody wins
- It’s day ONE of the rest of my life