This morning my son came running into my room and pulled open the curtains, eager to learn if today would be the day that the TV weatherman hinted at last night. A day that every child since the beginning of time lives for. A day known simply as A Snow Day.
But one glance outside, with the sun shining brightly, and Jake realized today would not be A Snow Day. He leaned heavily against the window and slid down the wall, sad and disappointed. He shook his head and said he didn’t want to go to school. I tried explaining that there would be more Snow Days ahead… I tried reminding him that we’d been lucky to have bonus Snow Days in the past. But he would not be cheered.
I kept silent then, knowing that now was not the time for “a teaching moment.” Instead, we walked downstairs together, his sadness nearly tangible, hanging in the air. And while disappointment is certainly a part of life, as a mother, it is hard not to feel your child’s pain, even over the smallest bumps in the road.
As Jake sat down to a bite of breakfast, I opened the pantry door and the first thing I saw was a big bag of mini-marshmallows. And I had an idea.
While he wasn’t looking, I began throwing the mini-marshmallows at Jake, one at a time. He looked at me, astonished, but not entirely surprised by my silliness. I told him to open his mouth, and that I was going to try to toss in as many marshmallows as I could before his carpool came to pick him up for school. As he started to grin, I said in my best fake-stern voice, “If you laugh, I’ll throw them two at a time. I mean it.”
Well, the laughing started immediately, and marshmallows were flying everywhere. Only about five out of 50 actually landed in his mouth, but it was a hilarious surprise each time one did. (And it was fun firing more at Jake’s face and hair as he held up a finger for me to wait while he chewed.)
By now the kitchen floor was covered in white mini-marshmallows, and the mood from the morning had lifted entirely. Jake even tried to toss a few marshmallows into my mouth, and made one in on the very first try, creating more peals of laughter from us both.
By the time we heard the carpool’s horn honk, we’d had a good five minutes of solid silliness. When he got up to go, we both looked at the floor and I said softly, “I guess it did snow after all.” And Jake smiled — his beautiful, dimpled smile that melted my heart.
Now he’s at school and I’m about to go to work, but I think the silliness will stay with us all day. As I start to sweep up the marshmallows, I smile and decide to leave them there for a while. Proof of the power we all have within us to make any day A Snow Day.