when i was a little girl, elementary-school age, i went to bed every single night all winter long fantasizing about two things…two magical overnight transformations.

the first involved me waking up with long, flowing locks of hair – preferably curly – instead of my real-life mushroom cut, which made me look rather like someone had tied a dog dish to my head and snipped around it. the second was about snow days.

i never got the former until high school, but the latter – bless you, frozen north of Canada – were relatively regular occurrences. waking up to a world blanketed in snow and having the rush of routine and everydayness startled into vivid, cozy technicolour by the cancellation of school and the prospect of a whole unforeseen day of leisure: definitely magic. in my adulthood, it’s occurred to me that snow days have all the side benefits of tragedy – the release from menial responsibilities and work duties, the gathering together, the shedding of unnecessaries – without the actual, erm, tragedy. they’re the candy on the calendar.

and since i am, by trade, a teacher, and currently work at a university, i still get to experience the luxury of snow days even now that i’m long grown. this morning, in the darkness, two lazy adults stretched out under the duvet listening to the peeping, “i’m awake now, thank you” sounds emanating from the other bedroom and the long, long list of cancellations coming from the radio. after the peeper was retrieved and changed and fetched some milk, the three of us retreated back under the covers in hopes of hearing the magic words. and they came: a snow day.

now, we’re still working, for part of the day, because the kinds of work we do can be done online and we still have power and all those good things. but i also got to get other things done – things that would have been pushed off to the weekend, like dragging the fake Christmas tree into the porch to air out, and getting the new hemp liners for O’s diapers boiled and ready for use. homey things. i will put something in the crock pot to cook in an hour or so, just ’cause. and i got to start it all late, because after the cancellations came, Dave and Oscar left me in the bed alone for two solid hours of rollicking, dreaming, rejuvenating morning sleep, my very favourite kind.

i hope it’s a very stormy winter.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++O in mitts

Oscar has taken to the arrival of snow in his world with great interest, bordering on fetishism. we have shutters on the inside of our bedroom window, and this morning just as the sun was coming up, before he and Dave departed to let me sleep, he pulled himself up on the old wooden crate that sits under the window, holding books, and threw open the shutters, shouting “‘no! ‘no!” and beating his little hands with glee on the frosted window. later, when his father got dressed for shovelling, O grabbed a hat of his own and a pair of adult gloves from the basket in the closet and beelined for the back door. he was outraged when we wouldn’t let him outside to play. he tamped his feet on the mud porch floor, then, with great frustration and deliberateness, shook his gigantically be-gloved paws at us and said, very clearly, “mitt. hat. ‘no.”

it must be a terrible trial to have parents so stupid that they can’t even tell when you’ve dressed yourself to go outside on a snow day.