I’m not sure when I went from spending the first few seconds of my day expecting to hear her coming down the down the hall to cozy in for just a few more minutes to spending those first few seconds whispering a simple prayer for the grace and courage to face the coming day. I’m not even sure when the phone ringing in the early morning became an assault against the quietness that turned my prayer into a plea for strength.
Snow days were always freebies- PJs under their snowsuit and no reason to venture outside our own little world day. No errands- No school- No expectations- a day to do whatever we decided.
And they could not get outside fast enough. She would chat endlessly about what they could do as we shoveled our way out the door. Just as we would get to the end of the walkway – she would fall backward onto the lawn trusting that the snow would insulate her fall. With a sweep of her arms and legs- she ‘d stand and admire the snow angel she had created. For those few seconds there were no tracks, no piles of snow or titling snowmen- just a snow angel standing guard over the stage for whatever adventure was to unfold.
The phone stops ringing and I breathe deep knowing all to well what the day will bring- The sting of seeing the brave little one looking out the window, never letting on, but his eyes giving his loneliness away. Or the silence as we stand on the snow piled walkway as if we are waiting for the snow angel to confirm she is standing guard.
Then the sun hits the trees and snow tumbles from the branches and the dog bounds across the yard and drops his ball at my feet. It is then that my plea is heard and I find the strength I desperately need. It is then that I am reminded she is standing guard and is watching over the adventure that is about to unfold.