Beat the winter blues with a snow day

I have to admit, seeing the ice and snow that is plaguing the east coast today almost makes me feel guilty that I was able to take the kids outside today in just light jackets… almost. Because up until today, we too have been snowbound for longer than I care to remember. For the first time in the nine years I have lived in Southern Colorado, I have seen actual snow banks in my neighborhood. Add to that icy roads, sub-zero temperatures, wind chills in the double-negative digits… it has been pretty miserable around here lately. And everyone, the kids especially, has been starting to go a little stir crazy.

In an effort to hold cabin fever at bay, the boys and I have been utilizing every possible opportunity to play in the snow, so long as the temperatures have not been too severe. And I can’t help but feel a sense of irony as I watch them play. As a child, I remember the excitement and anticipation that came with a snow storm… crossing my fingers for a day off from school to go outside and build snow forts with my brother. Then I grew older and deemed the snowfall as little more than a nuisance, particularly those first few winters of learning to drive in the nasty white stuff. When I became a news producer, and snow storms brought with them a cataclysmic effect, with wall-to-wall blizzard coverage that didn’t give me a free moment to eat or even run to the restroom amid all the chaos… well, I began to kind of loathe the snow.

Yet now as a mother, I find myself coming full circle. I love the snow again. Why? Because I get to watch three pairs of eyes light up with excitement every time those first flakes fall. My boys have reminded me of the beauty and innocence that come with the snow, and I have learned once more just how fun it can be to play outside in a winter wonderland. After all, childhood… much like winter… is only here for a short season. I am blessed to be able to revisit so many pleasures of childhood, now that I can experience them with my own children.

And I leave you tonight with a bit of a confession. In all of my early childhood years spent in northeastern Ohio, where lake-effect snow ruled, I never once built a snowman. Never. The other day, the boys helped me build a small snowman, the very first of my entire life. It was a first for all of us… and a memory I will cherish forever.

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