Thursday, March 7, 2013

Then Came the Snow

I woke up briefly yesterday morning, before the sun, and peeked out the window before crawling back into bed. It had snowed, alright. The streets were glassy. It was dark and still and that's when I knew for sure that I'd jumped the gun with my premature frustration over our wimpy "storm".

It was no blizzard, but it was something.

Calvin tip-toed in at 6:32 and whispered, "Mommy? We have a 2-hour delay. You can sleep in."

I'm so for real. This is how my household operates. The child rises first and checks the tv (I'd tipped him off the night before) then tells Mama to turn off her alarm clock.

Why was I ever afraid to be a Mom???

We lounged and played and decided walking to school was the right thing to do.

I've missed walking to school. We walked almost every day in the fall, passing through the middle- school bus-stop like a caravan of Olympic athletes or Disney characters or something, the shortest parade you'll ever see, the gangly kids with too-big feet and messy hair throwing high fives and hugs like penny candy.

They're never dressed for the weather, they eat potato chips for breakfast.

We don't see the biggers on our walk, but we pass their crumbling homes; walk down their buckled sidewalks. This is our neighborhood, too. We come together fumbling and reckless and broken. We smile back. We wave a thumbs-up to the lady screaming from her door, "30 days since I've had a smoke! A whole month!" We fit right in. No one seems to hold our shiny new house against us.

We keep walking, Calvin talks about his "lucky" friend who gets to stay inside for recess because he shows up to school in shorts while a Winter Storm Warning crawls across the bottom of every screen. Of course I want to track this little boy down and buy him bags of pants and socks and boots and hooded sweatshirts. I want to leave laundry detergent on his front stoop with five sleeves of quarters. I want to bake loaves of bread and boil up bubbling pots of soup. I want to read books to him and tuck him in.

But it's 10 o'clock in the morning, so we just keep walking.

We walk to the school where this boy is no exception and I feel that familiar rising up on the inside - the strangest kind of peace rolling joyful and sure - that God Himself walks the halls, the sidewalks, the city blocks. He walks South down the hill past the houses that get dark then darker. It's where He wants to be. It's what He chooses. So why would we worry?

Back home, I shovel my twiggy forearms clean off while Silas sits in a tiny lawn chair watching. We meet a new neighbor and I sweat inside my freakishly large mittens. I daydream gardens and spring and believe that I might be one heavy scoop away from 911.

((Any guesses how long the garden hoe lasted in Siley's hands?))

The evening is left-overs and books and 5 people on one couch.

It's the kind of day that just stays good.

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  1. The way you show us life? Well, it's priceless. I love it, and I love you.

  2. Sounds like a nice day.

  3. The kid wearing shorts in the storm? That's my kid. And it's not because he doesn't own pants, though I admit his great-grandparents are the ones keeping him clothed right now while we go on month number 13 of unemployment.
    No, he is thirteen and wears shorts and a tshirt every. single. day. drives me crazy, but we have bigger fish to fry. at least he still talks to me and shares the deep stuff. if that means he gets to choose to freeze to death, i'll live with it.
    The weird thing is he reminds me of this guy I dated in highschool, who always wore shorts, too. He told me he was just always hot. Not sure if that was a come-on or he was being real. I'm super out of it when it comes to picking up on that stuff.
    All I know is that I some how ended up with his kid verses mine or my husband's. Weird.

  4. A great day! I just wish we could get clothes for all those kids. sigh

  5. Every time I've shoveled in the past few months I say "this is why older peeps have heart attacks." And here and there "I think I have a hernia!"

    Love that Siley was watching you from a tiny chair.

    Did he say anything like "I can watch hard work ALL day!"

    Was Classy Soup part of the leftovers?!

  6. My senior kitty just walked over the bag of potato chips (Classic), over my laptop...which is on my laptop, scrolled through your post, which apparently, she could not see whilst sitting on my knees...and onto my chest. We both say, "hello." Olivia ~ the kitty, and I...not my chest.

    I hope yours is feeling all right after all of that shoveling.

    : )

    Julie M.

  7. I love Calvin's belief that the kid in shorts who had to stay inside was lucky. I'm forever indebted to the little boy I babysat in high school who told me that when he grew up he wanted to have glasses and braces too. If only he'd have included a bad perm in his desires, my glory would have been complete!

  8. LOVE, love, love!!!

    You sure have a way with words sister!

  9. I want to be your neighbor!!! I know that it is hard and dark and ugly sometimes, but you really know how to make it all beautiful <3

  10. My right eyebrow has never fully recovered from the time my little brother Sterling was set free with an unsupervised hoe. Wait, that doesn't sound right. I was 6 and he was 5, and his fine motor skills were not fully developed. In his energetic flailing, he connected with my head and my vision went red (from the sheets of blood pouring down my face.) Screeching and staggering, I went into the kitchen to find Mom, with a pitter patter of blood trailing behind me.

    One butterfly bandage and 26 years later and I have a distinguished bare streak in my right eyebrow. I like to think it gives me a certain rakish flair and wear my scar proudly, like Harrison Ford or Sandra Bullock or Tina Fey.

  11. 1.2 seconds, give or take a tenth.

    we finally got our first hearty snow of the winter, and i secretly loved it. mea culpa.

    ps i looked up the tanzanian-ugandan border, and what i told you was not even right, minus the lake-sharing bit. i do know my lake placement. :)

  12. silence
    i enjoyed that
    i connected
    thank you...xo

  13. glad the storm finally showed up.
    there's nothing like preparing for it and it NOT coming.
    meanwhile, we moved back to GA from FL and my kids have begged for snow and not seen a single drop of it's awesomeness.
    We've had two mild winters since moving back. ugh.

    loved seeing your walk to school with the kids...grateful for the peace that God continues to give you guys as you settle down there and make it home. grateful that they aren't holding your new house against you....I actually wondered that when I saw your house in the picture, and then you answered the question for me. :}

  14. I am a new reader and I just have to tell you how lovely this post is. I love that you have not tried to created a sheltered, bubble life for your children. I love that you are choosing to run to the margins and thriving and growing where you are planted. What an inspiration. We have an 18 month old son, so we are not in the school season of life yet, but we talk all the time about how we want to send our kids to public school and how we wouldn't move into a nicer neighborhood just to ensure a "better" school. If we are to be the change we want to see in the world, then it starts with investing in your local, inner city schools... Being an involved parent! Thank you for your inspiring story! The Lord is using you to spread his light! I'll be following along!

    1. Well, I love hearing of other families who think some of the things we do. We are loving every minute of our new school with its free-for-everyone lunches and its low test scores. :)

  15. You make me smile. The love radiates with each word. Your children are very lucky to have you.

  16. thanks for taking us along with you on your way to school and high five for teaching the kids to turn off your alarm. i must put this into practice...for sure.

  17. Lovely photographs!

  18. Oh goodness, your blog is adorable!

  19. "They're never dressed for the weather, they eat potato chips for breakfast." Yep. I work in a Jr High. That sums it up perfectly. Thanks for the glimpse into your street.