Thursday, February 24, 2011

Surprise Snow Day!

It’s snowing!  When I woke up just before 5 am, I could see a bit more lightness in the room, and quickly hopped out of bed to check the backyard.  It was transformed into a fairyland, with the old lilac tree glistening white and the deck covered in a couple inches of snow.  As I write, with curtains open and a fire burning, I watch snow lightly falling in the glow of the street light. One car has driven by, slowly, with no apparent distress.  My husband sits in the other room, watching the news and reading the paper, repeatedly calling his work number, hoping for a snow day, too.

It promises to be a perfect snow day, with light snow predicted throughout the day.  I’m thrilled for my students, as they have desperately wanted this to happen, especially as it was snowing when they left yesterday, then stopped within a few minutes.  What a tease! All kids and the young at heart appreciate a bonus day; the opportunity to build snowmen and snow angels, and maybe not think too hard about school and work.

I am giddy with the thought that I have an entire day stretching ahead of me to putter around the house, maybe finish a quilt top I’ve put away due to “no time”, or the final touches on a dress I’m making.  Even the thought of working on taxes doesn’t seem daunting, on a day that is “extra” and gently unfurling before me, though I’ll probably save those for the weekend!

My husband has left to attempt the drive to work . . . no snow day for him . . . yet.  As his employer usually errs on the side of safety, should the snow keep up, I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns earlier than usual this afternoon. 

So, without further lollygagging, I am anxious to get started on this gift day of time.  Sitting and watching the snow, and now the increased traffic on the road, is ok for a time, but my body wants to move, to be productive in ways that are fun for me, and I am looking forward to a thrilling day spent with myself, enjoying activities I love.

Hurrah for this late February Snow Day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Many years ago, I gave up on the notion that I would have a daughter. I had a son, whom I cherished, and two stepsons, and it was enough, almost. I yearned for a daughter though; deep inside I wanted a daughter with a wishing and a wanting that never quite went away. Yet, over time I gave it up, mostly. As I passed my 36th birthday, I discussed with my doctor taking care of my reproductive ability, as I felt too old to bring another child into this world, anyway. Instigating that conversation, I seriously gave up the daughter dream.

Then, a funny thing happened one morning. I ended up calling and cancelling the procedure, as my spring break plans had changed and I was going to be doing something else. I met David, and amazingly, a year later I was married again, to a man who really wanted to be a Daddy. Even more amazingly, I discovered I was pregnant! I was going to have a baby at the age of 38! Was I crazy? I was ecstatic.

That baby girl was born 22 years ago today. And while there have been times when she was chagrined to have such ancient parents, I’ve rarely felt that I was too old to be her mom.

As I remember that incredible day of her birth, I remember the indescribable joy I felt when I first held the precious miracle of my daughter. She changed me. I’m not the same person as I was before her birth. Having a daughter softened me, drenched me in the age-old mother/daughter alliance that I had been missing for 30 years since my own mom’s death.

When Jess was less than a week old, I remember sitting on the bed, cradling her in my arms and sobbing as I prayed for her to be able to keep her mom. I had already been journaling her entrance into this world; from the moment I knew she was coming. I prayed to be the best mother I could be for her, to love her and teach her and guide her and to be here for her. Losing my mom at age nine was the ultimate abandonment, and I prayed hard that she would not experience that loss.

I’m sure I was praying for me, too. That I would have the opportunity to mother my children into old age, as I intuitively know my own mom would have wished and prayed for, and perhaps did, before she suddenly was no more.

Through mothering my daughters, (Kailyn was miracle number two!) I have reveled in doing all the things I wished I had done with my mom. I dressed them in clothing I created just for them, showered them with tea parties, and hand sewn doll wardrobes, with matching dresses. I read to them daily, sometimes for hours at a time. I gave them everything I had in my power to give them, including my absolute belief in God, and the opportunity to learn of His goodness, mercy and love. I prayed with them and for them, without ceasing.

Today Jessica is 22, and she is a remarkable person. Her personal faith is strong. Her work ethic is rock solid. She is my pride and joy. She is everything I hoped for her to be, and more. I sit here this morning, blessed beyond my wildest expectations by the miracle of her life. God answered my prayers as he usually does, giving me more than I dreamed.

Last Thursday, Jess arrived home about 7 PM. We immediately drove off to Fabric Depot, so she could choose a pattern and fabric for the dress I would make her for her birthday. Then, Friday, Jess and I spent in my sewing room. As I sewed, she brought down my journals from the shelf, one at a time, and began to read. I felt a tad bit of fear and trepidation, as no one (including me) had read them since they were written, and I wasn’t sure how my writing would be taken, as I’m a pretty honest writer. She read aloud at times, and we laughed, and sometimes I cried a bit, remembering again some difficulty I’d forgotten. But, I treasured that day, and the miracle of sharing her life with Jess, through my stories from years past.

Miracles! I thank God for miracles. I thank God for you, Jessica. I miss that I’m not with you (for the fourth year in a row) on your special day, but I’m sending you a Happy Birthday hug!