Today when the rare sight of fluffy flakes begins to blow across my kitchen window,
I will choose delight and not despair.
I will choose to recognize, through the eyes of my children, what a treasure this day could be.
I will accept that weather knows no boundaries, respects no schedule, and has no concept of school calendars (or a freelance writer’s planner).
I will accept muddy floors because little boots and wet socks will come in and out all day long.
I will accept gloves stained orange with Georgia red clay because snowballs must be scraped together.
I will accept snow day dishes in great stacks of chili bowls and hot chocolate mugs.
I will accept that I cannot be everywhere and with everyone because the baby still needs a nap.
I will accept the fact that despite my best preparations, I will inevitably be short a vital ingredient for tonight’s dinner.
I will accept that if I make cookies, the only evidence will be the unwashed mixing bowl still sitting in my sink hours later.
I will accept that I will do little of the work that matters to me but I will do much of the work that matters to my children.
I will believe that I am not a terrible mother if I know I need a break, so I let them watch television.
I will believe that the exhausting process of walking a quarter mile with a toddler counts as my daily cardio and enables me to eat the last cookie.
I will believe that if a child eats the snowman’s carrot nose that counts as a daily serving of vegetables.
I will believe that eating snow is a rite of childhood and I shouldn’t taint it by telling them that snow is dirty and full of pollutants.
I will believe that they will remember this day better if I spend it with them, and there is no Facebook status or blog post or Instagram upload more important than the moment they ask me if I can build a snowman.
I will understand the laws of laundry as dictated by such events.
- Mittens adhere to the same theory of disappearance as socks.
- The dryer is the only cycle that will run today. On repeat. Up to ten times.
- Apparently, it is unacceptable to sit around in the clothes one had on under snow bibs.
- Pajamas are acceptable at all hours of the day, but at bedtime none can be found.
- Leggings are not to be confused with tights and for some reason the fleece lined ones will not be preferred over the oldest pair in the drawer, yet, somehow both will be in the hamper by nightfall.
- Neighbors’ clothes will migrate into my laundry pile and some of mine will find its way to theirs.
- Snow people will generate their own massive pile of dirty scarves, gloves, hats, and the occasional bathing suit.
I will, despite the laws of laundry, encourage the use of all things layers. Never less than two pairs of socks, double up the gloves, and sweatshirts belong under winter coats. Question me, and I’ll do like my mama did and cover your feet in Ziploc bags.
But mostly, I will embrace this day.
I will embrace makeshift sleds and the kitty litter on the driveway.
I will embrace (and kiss!) chapped cheeks and lips.
I will embrace the laundry and the dishes and the inconvenience and the tantrums because despite it all,
there will be moments worth seeing.
And I want to be a mother who sees.
Originally published February 12, 2014. Revised for The Northeast Georgian weekend edition, January 22, 2016.