There hasn’t been much snow this year, but the sharp temperatures have still been painful. So when a true snow day appeared on Friday, the kids were giddy. Unfortunately for The Hare, snow does not prohibit school from happening. And since we had already taken a few days off for gymnastics, there was much work to be done regardless. Her big sister, The Tortoise, was a good sport about honoring our school day. She worked on an English paper and caught up on some reading. It turned out to be a pretty productive day.
The weekend remained windy. Temperatures eased up enough to let patches of frozen grass peek out from under the blank canvas. We stayed inside, buried under blankets and pillows, watching movies and eating leftovers. While the rest of the north was still digging their way out of winter storms, our snow topped trees and yards melted, transforming into rivers of dirty slush, as icy rain pelted the earth most of Sunday night.
“Mom,” giggled The Tortoise Monday morning, “school’s cancelled.”
She had been up for almost an hour, her hair still damp, smelling of citrus and honey. We had not anticipated another snow day. There wasn’t any snow, but the constant patter-patter of raindrops through the night had turned the highways into skating rinks. We went back to bed. By 9am, the aroma of coffee and bacon, mixed with the faint scent of morning breath, unraveled in the kitchen as the three of us padded around the hard-wood floors in our slippers. Since school was closed on Friday, The Tortoise had no new assignments. It was going to be a challenge to keep The Hare focused with her sister home again.
The Tortoise took the opportunity to clean her room and bathroom. She even got some of her laundry done, but by noon, she was desperate to find something less productive. The Hare worked distractedly on math and science, stopping every few minutes to peek around the corner to catch a glimpse of her sister’s whereabouts. The rain had ceased, but the cold persisted. No one wanted to leave the house.
At lunchtime, I sent The Hare to the kitchen with her reading book, while I hopped on the computer to get some work done. I worked quickly, anticipating the need to referee whining and pouting children. After all, sisters cooped up together for four days straight can’t possibly result in anything other than bickering. But the quiet turned into giggles and the shuffling of appliances. They whispered and cooed like best friends at a sleep over. Before long, the smell of boredom was replaced with butter and cinnamon, my nose recognizing the familiar scent of Snicker-doodle cookies.
The afternoon disappeared as the girls baked, drinking in every ounce of an unexpected concoction of happiness, joy and cookies. I could have made sure The Hare finished her assignments, but I think the greatest lesson would have been lost.