Before I begin, let me give you a warning. Some portions of today’s blog may make me sound old.
Okay, I’m ready now.
When I was a kid, even the smallest little flurry on a school night gave me hope. My brothers and I would gather around the radio (yes, a radio … sounds like the Walton’s, doesn’t it?) as the announcer read the school closings.
Since the name of our school began with the letter “W,” we were always at the bottom of the list. Somewhere around the “S’s,” we’d start shushing each other and crossing our fingers. Finally we’d hear the glorious news. “Yes, he said it! No school!”
When I was a kid, snow days felt like a little gift from heaven. Who cared if we’d already had two weeks of Christmas break? This was a free day – and we had so much to do!
First of all, I needed to break in those stiff, white ice skates that Santa had brought me. I was so anxious to wear them; I slipped them on and tromped around the house. That is, until Mom caught me. “Take those off. You’re going to cut the linoleum,” she scolded.
Once we got to the pond, my brother tested the ice. He’d walk across slowly, then race back at the first sound of cracking. I remember teaching myself to turn corners like Dorothy Hamill (I know … I tried to warn you) by crossing one leg over the other without wiping out.
We built forts, had snowball fights and made snowmen. I was usually the one that ran back inside for one of Mom’s scarves and a carrot for the snowman’s nose.
We went sledding. I remember crawling over the barbed-wire fence and heading out to the pasture. Sometimes we’d hit a ridge of ice (or as my brother would call it, “a frozen cow pile”) that sent us all flying. The creek at the bottom of the hill also added an extra dose of excitement.
Playing outside was so much fun when I was a kid.
But now that I’m the mom, all of that fun looks very different. For example, just getting the kids out the door can be a challenge.
“Where’s my gloves?”
“Those are my snow pants.”
“My boots are too tight!”
Once outside, you’d think they’d be set. But just wait.
“It’s too windy out here!”
“I've got snow down my back!”
Want to know the other thing I never noticed when I was a kid? The big mess we left when we came back inside. Inevitably, there’s a massive pile of cold, dripping clothes inside the door.
During the last couple of weeks we've had some extremely cold temperatures around here. Too cold to play outside. (As I type this, it’s a whopping -13 degrees!)
But a few days ago, the temperatures actually climbed into the thirties. I thought we’d better take advantage of the milder temps.
“Hey girls, do you feel like going sledding?” Their eyes grew wide. It had been a long time since they’d seen me on a sled.
Yes, when you have three kids, someone is bound to complain about being cold. And yes, there will always be a mess by the back door. But do you know what I've realized?
Memories last forever. And it only takes a few minutes to clean up the mess.