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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blanket of Delight!

We all remember our school days as youngsters. There are the good memories, the bad, the times we achieved, and the times we were sent to the office. We also all have those memories of snow days. What the schools would call "inclement weather" the students would call a day off; a day of freedom and relaxation. As a child I would watch the weather the night before with my dad. I would say my prays at night and would always make sure to ask God for a big storm to come. I would wake up in the morning and run to my window. I would make a slit in the blinds and peek out at the winter wonderland that blanketed the earth while I was dreaming. As I would flee down the stairs my feet would hardly touch the stairs in anticipation of hearing the school closings on the radio. My brother, sister and I would sit and listen, hoping for a day of sleeping in, TV watching, and game playing. There were times the school listings were too long and we were too impatient to wait to get to the O's so we would call the school hotline to hear the recording. When the voice went straight to "all schools are closed...." instead of "the lunch menu for today is..." we would jump for joy, run back upstairs and hit the hay until at least 10:00am.

As an adult, I can't deny that much has changed for me. Being a teacher has it's perks, and snow days are one of those perks. Since teaching, I have started to gain a fascination in the weather during the winter months. I want to know weeks in advance if a storm is approaching. I watch each morning, I check online during the school day, and click on the weather link on my phone. Once a storm is brewing I check the weather more frequently and bookmark the hour by hour forecast. I know when the first snowflake will fall and when the last will pitter on down. When the first crystal of hopeful cancellation falls from the sky, I'm hoping and wishing and praying for the lovely letters to scroll across the bottom of the TV screen in the morning that spell out "Newton: Closed". I struggle to fall asleep the night of the storm and wake up throughout the night to look out the window. With an early rise, I stumble down the hallway, rubbing my eyes, and as I glaze out the frosty window I squint my contact-less eyes in attempt to make out what it looks like outside. Can I see the street? Can I see the front steps? If not, I quickly turn on the TV and keep my eyes peeled on the tube. I greedily wait for the "n's" to scroll and when they do, I honestly think that the word Newton is bolder, larger, and glimmers more than any of the other schools. I try to hold in my excitement in attempt to not wake the sleeping babies and I tiptoe back down the hallway to my warm bed.

Of course being a mother of 2 young children, I rarely get to sleep in. If the kids sleep until 7am that is a good day. It doesn't matter to me. My eyes still gleam as though I am an 8 year old child. I still love knowing that I can wake up and stay in my pj's and watch cartoons all morning. The leisurely atmosphere puts the whole house in good spirits as we make breakfast and plan our family day. Spending extra time cuddling with my babies and not rushing to get everyone dressed, out the door, and into the cold by 7:25 is worth every day that we have to go to school in June. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's nice to have a day or two to relax, watch movies, play games, and especially to enjoy a special day with your kids.

Tomorrow will be the 3rd snow day in a row due to the blizzard of 2009. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Being in a new job position, I have spent most of my time in my classroom on weekends and even some nights. Feelings of guilt and heartbreak of missing my babies have overwhelmed me. The past two days have been spent teaching Cailyn to play new games, getting down on the floor with Bryce and looking at things through his eyes, enjoying movies, games, and meals with my husband, and taking family naps. I couldn't ask for a better way to be snowed in. I have everything I need inside my warm house. After retiring to my bed last night the blizzard winds howled and I thought about the homeless and those that can't afford to heat their house. I said a pray and asked God to keep them warm, find them shelter, and help them in this time of need. I am so fortunate and thankful for my life. My family is my world and the blizzard has given me a chance to slow down and enjoy my world. As the wintery season continues, I will try to make it a priority to make every moment count with my family--snow or no snow--but I will always welcome a good storm with open arms.

Bring on the snow, Old Man Winter!

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