Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The first day of snow

I have a confession to make. There will be no school today. Not one small math equation, or properly punctuated sentence will be practiced. Today we are playing hookie.

When I was a little girl, I would wait each year for that first day when giant fluffy snowflakes covered the grass & trees with their fresh whiteness. It seemed that the earth was being transformed into a faerietale landscape before my eyes, and I just HAD to press my nose to the glass, overseeing each individual flake to be sure it fell in exactly the right place. Then my heart would fall as I was told that this too was a school day and I would have to spend it like any other, indoors. Why was the first day of snow NOT a special holiday? Could adults not see the transformation taking place outside the windows? Did they not care? One of the first decisions I made in deciding "the little things" about homeschooling my children was that their birthdays and the first day of snow would be vacation days.

This morning I woke to hear my husband & son (the early bird) excitedly whispering something about "It's covering the windshield!" and "Maybe it'll even stick!" and I knew even before my eyes had focused properly that it was time once again for our annual hookie-day. Yes, it snowed three weeks ago... but that was on a weekend, so it just doesn't count. This is the first WEEKDAY snow of the season! So after breakfast we pulled down our basket of Winter & Christmas movies, music &books, mixed up a batch of powdered hot cocoa to fill the jar that will sit on the counter from now until Easter, and popped on our biggest, fluffiest slipper-socks for a full day of doing nothing.

Now all there is to do is enjoy our giant mugs of hot cocoa, (with candy-canes AND mini-marshmallows "just this once") make up a steaming pan of pumpkin custard for lunch, and curl up together watching the earth prepare itself for hibernation. Tonight when my husband is home from work, we will light the fireplace and sit around discussing how we'll winterize the house and what we will do about the leaves that FINALLY fell from our giant maple tree and are now heavy with snow, over potato stew & spiced apples. Next month I will be cursing the snow as my joints groan even louder from shoveling in the cold & wind. But these first few hours each year are for sitting quietly and enjoying the change in seasons without distraction or worry.

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