The quiet is overhelming this morning. When you’re surrounded by feet of snow, every sound is a little more muffled.
The dogs are sleeping, the snow is falling and the chaos of snow days has ended! Sure I still have one kiddo at home – the high school had a planned teacher work day – but she’s blissfully asleep as teenagers are known to be at 9:00am.
I thought that living in the rocky mountain west would eliminate things like “school closure due to extreme weather”. We didn’t have snow days growing up and we were at 5,000 feet elevation. We got seriously dumped on, on a regular basis. This past week’s storm though, was of epic proportion and the snow plows couldn’t keep up. School buses couldn’t get through, cars were stuck everywhere and people were skiing in the streets. Despite the constant shoveling it was pretty cool!
We ended up with two feet of the beautiful white stuff in our yard in a VERY short time. It’s gorgeous!!! Outside.
Inside was a different story. It was a constant stream of snow-covered boots, snowpants, mittens, hats and scarves thrown to the side as they came in the door. Pools of melted snow big enough to swim in took over our laundry room and found its way into the kitchen. Towels handed to them to wipe it up were thrown in the middle and soon became just another building block in our mountain of mess.
But it didn’t matter! A snow fort was built, sleds were dusted off and laughter was the constant background noise. Ok, so was arguing and me saying “please just shut the hell up for a few minutes” and “can you all please go back to school!!” But we survived and today I’ll deal with the mess. With the help of my still sleeping teenager. She’ll be so excited!
There was a moment in it all when SG, D1 and D3 were gone and I was tired and taking a little time to just sit and read. D2 decided to go outside and when I looked out at her playing in the snow by herself, I thought “what the hell am I doing?”
I got up, put on my snow clothes, grabbed the igloo block makers and joined her. The smile on her face when she saw me almost brought me to tears. We spent the next 2 hours building a fort, falling back into snow banks and just enjoying the mountains of fresh snow everywhere. Together.
Too often I’m worn down and I think I’ll go outside “next time” or I’ll join in “a bit later”. Maybe it was the scan this week that made me think a little more that there might be fewer “next times” ahead. I don’t know what it was but I’m so glad I didn’t stay in and watch. She’s 11 and soon may be more interested in sledding with friends than hanging with me.
The enormous smile on her face was enough to remind me that NOW is when I need to be outside with her. Her genuine happiness when I joined her reminded me that today is what matters. The joy of playing in feet of fresh snow in the sunshine is exponentially greater than the energy it requires. This is what builds the memories they’ll have long after I’m gone, even if I’m here for another 50 years.
So today while they’re back at school, I’ll put the house back together and watch even more snow fall – yesterday I had much more important things to do and now a bruise on my left butt cheek to prove it. I don’t know who put that damn jump in the middle of the sledding hill!