Maybe I should’ve said snow lover, because now I’m picturing a giant fan that blows snow around and sort of looks like Bruce Willis, which isn’t really what I meant.
I don’t have a job that requires me to be at the office (or get on the road, period), so snow days are pure joy in my household — pure, fluffy, white, freezing and unadulterated joy. As long as we have groceries, electricity and something to sled on, a snow day is a very welcome thing.
I want to set the record straight: I love snow. I do not love winter. I don’t even like it. It’s by far the worst season, and not just because of the freezing temperatures. The ugly, dead, brown landscapes are more than a little depressing and all my favorite outdoor activities, like hiking, swimming and camping, get the fun sucked right out of them when Old Man Winter comes around. Winter is only good for two things: snow, and removing the guilt from drinking hot cocoa three times a day.
Snow, unlike winter, can do no wrong (except avalanches, but hey, everyone makes mistakes) and is only capable of making my life better. Snow has been there for me when I needed it most, and as a child, I could always count on it to randomly sneak up and grant me a few days out of school. The snow days never lasted long enough and were far and few between, but you know what they say: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Of course, because it’s so great, snow is an elusive thing. It won’t come when you call for it (sorry, weathermen) and there’s no surefire way to predict how long it will stay or how much of it there will be. This can be problematic when you have a very excited 3-year-old awaiting its arrival.
“When will it start snowing, Mama? Will there be a lot of snow? Can I go play in it? Why isn’t it snowing yet? Can we build an igloo?”
These are all very good questions, mind you, but even good questions get old the 40th time they’re asked.
I make a big production of snow days: Cinnamon rolls, French toast or omelets for breakfast and a relatively steady stream of hot cocoa and Sleepy Time tea throughout the day. I get all the comfy blankets and pillows out and turn the living room into a den of laziness. We watch movies, do a little finger painting, and make dozens of entrees in Molly’s play kitchen.
When we finally brave the cold to play in the snow, I have a rule of thumb: If anyone can clearly discern your gender from 10 feet away, you’re not warm enough. To truly bundle up means kicking fashion to the curb and embracing the boxy shape of your least-flattering coat over three layers of thermals. Another bonus: extra padding when you sled directly into a tree. Or several trees. Because that’s been known to happen around here, sadly.
Maybe my love for snow seems childish. But then again, my favorite movie is “Alice in Wonderland,” so what did you expect?
(Editor’s Note: Debra Carpenter is a novice mother, wife and college student. She is also a syndicated columnist whose work is published in several Tennessee newspapers. She writes about the parts of parenthood you didn’t expect when you were expecting. Like the fan page at Facebook.com/MotherInterrupted or visit the website at MotherInterrupted.com.)