Monday, December 1, 2008

School's Out for Snow (Well, Really It Was the Power)

When I drove through the U-shaped driveway to drop Annalee off at school this morning, I noticed that it seemed a little quiet. Traffic was light and I didn't see any kids around. But, with our three inches of snow, I didn't give it a second thought. Then, one of the aides came to the car (as they usually do to help the kids unload and get into the school), and she told us that there was no school today. Seems a power outage knocked out a boiler. So, even though the power had returned about an hour earlier, the school had no heat.

Annalee's first thought was that we were headed home to make a snowman. My first thought was, wow, I had a lot to do today that wasn't going to get done. So, we compromised. Annalee was a great sport. We hit the post office (woo, hoo - all my Christmas cards have been mailed - and it's only December 1!) and two grocery stores. I only had to ask Leelee a couple times to put her lips together so that I could think for a little bit while shopping.

Then, it was on to home for lunch and snow play. But, of course, to be able to go out in the snow, you have to work on getting all the clothing on so you can stay warm. Wool socks, snowpants, boots, scarf, hat, jacket, mittens. At one point, Annalee looked like a stuffed sausage. I tried hard to avoid her looking like the little brother in A Christmas Story. Finally, it was time to step out into the pristine whiteness.

I think I love playing out in the snow as much as my little girl. I couldn't help but remember the first day we had snow after we returned home with Annalee from China. Snow was totally foreign to her (as was so much at that time), but she just laughed and laughed. We walked around the yard and down the road and back that day. It was so sunny. The air was cold but with all our layers on, we were warm. What I remember most that day was feeling like this was just one of the many things I had waited to do as a mom. I was in my element. I was so excited to share the joy of the world with her, and snow was just the beginning.

Seems like that was just last year. Now, four years later, she still laughs and laughs in the snow. Her eyes light up with joy; her cheeks glow rosy. But, now, instead of looking to me to lead the way and guide her, she's telling me what we're going to do: "Fall down and make a snow angel, mommy!...Get up and run. Chase me!...I'm going to get you with a snowball!" (I got her first - oops!)

So, today we had our first snow angels of the season, and our first snowball fight. And, I learned that Leelee learned how to position herself, step and throw in gym class. How about that? She nailed the mailbox more times than I did. How sad for me - being a former softball pitcher and all. Guess I've got some practicing to do.

But, that'll have to wait 'til spring. For now, we'll just enjoy the snow.

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