Saturday, I heard rumblings that we might be expecting snow. This is not unusual for Denver. At our mile-high elevation, we receive April snow showers instead of the April rain showers many other American cities receive. Sunday night, though, I started hearing the word snowstorm bandied about. Although I’m completely okay with the spring snows we get here that tend to be quickly followed by a nice warm up back into our regularly scheduled warm temperatures, I’m a little less than pleased with the thought of a snowstorm on a school day. So far this year, we had not had one snow day and my boys (knock on wood) have hardly missed a day of school. With just a little over a week’s time passing between the end of Spring Break and now, I was not interested in more together time with my boys just yet. After all, we’ll be together all summer break and that starts for us in about six weeks.
On Monday night at 9 p.m. as I was getting ready to leave a friend’s house, an email alert popped up. It was an advance school cancellation by our principal. After reviewing the weather reports, she had decided to call school off because of a predicted 8-12 inches of blowing snow. Ugh. I headed home as heavy, wet snowflakes began to fall, appalled that just that morning I had walked four miles with our dog on a dry hiking trail in nearly 70 degree weather. When I walked in the door, I told our boys the news. They were beyond thrilled. And as the reality of the situation began to sink in, I relaxed a little knowing that at least I would not have to make lunches or trudge out early in the morning. I told the boys not to even think of waking me up before 7:30, and we all went to sleep.
At 5:25 the door slammed behind hubby as he headed to catch the early morning train into the city, and I was up. It was one of those morning alarm situations in which you realize you will not be getting back to sleep. Resigned to my fate, I picked up my iPhone and checked my messages. By 5:50, both boys were up. I looked outside and snow was indeed falling. We had barely three inches on the ground and I wondered if all the school administrators who had cancelled school (every district in the Denver metro area had cancelled school by late Monday night based on the forecast) were drinking their morning coffee at home and kicking themselves thinking about a summer vacation that would now start one day later for no good reason.
Throughout the day as the snow fell off and on, the boys played quietly with their iPads or the Xbox. We worked ahead on school work a little together, enjoyed a laid back lunch, and then we settled into my bed to watch episodes of Arrested Development. We did very little all day. It was quiet. We were restful and mellow. We never got out of our lounge clothes and pajamas. We decompressed. Around 4 p.m. Luke ran over to play in the neighbor’s house, and I sent Joe out into the backyard in his snow clothes to amuse the dog who had refused to step foot outside in the inclement weather all day. As Joe played with Ruby in the yard, I sat on my bedroom floor looking down on him from the upstairs window. I was completely in the moment. And as my now almost 12 year old son played in the falling snow with his border collie, tossing snowballs that she tried to catch, I got teary eyed. In my yard I could still see the three year old who would play in the snow long after his friends had become too cold and gone inside. Where has the time gone? These precious days with my boys, the ones where they actually want to curl up and watch television with me or roll around in the snow with their dog, will likely become fewer and father between as they get older and become more involved with their own lives. So yesterday I stopped and made a conscious choice to soak up the sights, smells, sounds, and peace of the snow day I had not wanted so I will be able to savor it forever in my memory when Joe and Luke have moved on.
Although I had gone into the snow day with a firmly resonating noooooooooo echoing in my head, it turns out that it was exactly what I needed. Three or four years ago, I would have grudgingly made my way through the day, upset that I’d missed my workout and my peace and quiet, counting the minutes until school started the next day. Luckily, I am an older and wiser person now. I’m grateful that I’ve finally gotten to a place in my life where I can soften a bit and appreciate the here and now in full knowledge that in another minute it will be just a memory.