Snow days. At the top of every kid’s favorites list. My children enjoyed a snow day today; waking up before the alarms clocks went off, checking to see if school, had in fact, been cancelled.
Oh, it was a great day, complete with snow angels, fresh baked cookies, hot chocolate, and heaps of wet snow pants, hats and gloves. Towels lay scattered around the house in feeble attempts to protect our laminate wood floors.
I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole life. On a day like today it’s easy to think back to the snows days of my youth. I especially remember one that must have been during my freshman or sophomore year.
That would have been before wi-fi and I uber competitive high school sports. There were no practices, no video games.
It was a just big snow. We must have missed more than one day of school. We wanted to go out and play in the snow.
Sometimes in my shared memories “we” means my sisters and I. This time it means a whole gaggle of kids. I was living in an emergency protective shelter. Other than not living at home, days were much like any of our peers’ days might have been. Breakfast, school, after school, evening meal, homework, bed time. Differences, of course, being that we were not home, they were not homemade meals, and they were not our beds and no one was getting a gentle hug or sweet kiss goodnight from a mother, father, grandmother or aunt.
The world’s of the children inside those shelter walls may have stopped, but outside those walls was a major winter storm.
I don’t remember thinking it, but I’m sure we must have, can we go out and play in the snow. There were many of us without a winter coat or even clothes that fit us properly. I was old enough at that point to be bitter enough to have stopped believing a childhood was within our grasps.
But the younger children, it must have been them, believed we could have a snow day. The staff came up with a tote, probably more than one, of winter clothes. I remember going through the clothes and finding what we could that would fit and keep us dry.
We went out and played in the snow. In my memory it lasted forever. I remember coming in and I was sweating from playing so hard. We ran, we threw snow, we attempted to build snow everythings.
I don’t remember much about the rest of that day. I don’t remember if we went in for hot chocolate and a snack after or just went back to our rooms or the common area.
I don’t remember a thing about the staff that gave us that magical day. I don’t remember a thing about any of the other kids.
In fact, I don’t know why one of those kids was in that shelter. It wasn’t something we talked about. Perhaps we were all trying so hard to forget our own truths that we couldn’t bare someone else’s. Perhaps our own was so hard and heavy, we could not bare putting it into words.
I remember a day. A day all children should be able to conjure when thinking about childhood. Snow, lots of snow, no school, and playing.
I think childhood should be magical. I’m so thankful to those that allowed me glimpses of what that should look like. I hope 30 years from now, my children remember just a little bit of magic from today.