The Gift of a Day

Beep, beep, beep. I had set my alarm for 4:30, mostly to get up and check the weather.Snow 1

It was raining when I went to bed and was supposed to turn to snow overnight.

If it didn’t look too bad outside, I would get up and go swim laps. If it did look bad, I’d go back to sleep for a while.

There was a soft glow coming from the living room. The white lights of the Christmas tree. The same soft glow was just beyond my bedroom window curtains. The white Christmas lights running along the front side of my house.

I pulled the curtains aside and peered outside. Snow. About three inches. And still coming down. Sleet-like.

I turned alarm number two on – 6:00 a.m. Alarm number two was the lazy alarm or, for today, the bad-weather-can’t-really-be-expected-to-get-up-and-exercise alarm.

Back into bed. I wrapped my down comforter around me like a sleeping bag. Oh, what a feeling.

And then visions of accidents started dancing in my head.

Not me. I’ve been driving in this stuff for decades. Not my vehicle. It’s a big SUV with four-wheel drive.

My daughter's tiny 1990 Honda CRX, covered in snow.

My daughter’s tiny 1990 Honda CRX, covered in snow.

My daughter. Seventeen, and responsible for getting both her and her younger sister to school. In her tiny, old Honda CRX. With no experience driving on roads like these other than once last winter.

I had talked to her last night about quadrupling her stopping distance. Her response was, “Yeah. Yeah, mom, I know.” Actually, you don’t know. No one knows, really, until you smash into the back of the car in front of you. Or, you slide right on through an intersection because you didn’t start braking a half a block ahead of time. That’s when you get it, when you say, “Oh, so that’s what my mom was trying to tell me.”

Maybe I would just drive them to school. The thing was, Addy had to work after school so she’d need her vehicle to get there.

The other thing was, she needed the experience. Even if it resulted in a wrecked car, she had to learn at some point how to drive in such conditions.

Back and forth, back and forth. Drive them and keep them safe or send them out into the snowy, slippery world?

Just one of many fine lines to walk as a parent.

I wasn’t getting back to sleep. I wasn’t enjoying my last hour in my cozy bed.

And then my phone rang. My cell phone. Right there on my night stand. 5:23 a.m.

The call was coming from a number in my contacts and I recognized the name. A colleague of mine. It could only mean one thing…


I quickly called the next teacher on the telephone tree, texted my daughters to not get up, and then, no, though the stress had run out of me like a bucket of the melted white stuff, I did not snuggle in and go back to sleep. I was wide awake, celebrating the gift of a day, embracing it, joy emanating from me like the glow from the Christmas tree just beyond my bedroom door.

The gift of a day. A free day. No obligations whatsoever. There’s nothing quite like it.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. theclocktowersunset
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 06:26:23

    I love that feeling, and the smell of snow. Lucky you, it’s rainy and 50 here. 😦


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