School’s Cancelled — Let’s Go Tubing

0550: I looked up from my work and glanced out the window. Although it hadn’t started snowing, leaden clouds blanketed the sky. If we are lucky, I thought, the snow will hold off until #1 and #2 get to school.

0601: My phone vibrated. I read the text that had just arrived: “School is cancelled today due to the snow.” I looked out the window and thought, what snow? I didn’t have time for a snow day, not that the petty denizens who determine school closures cared. As I sat there thinking about how my day was ruined, I paused. #1 and #2 will relish a day off. If it started snowing, they would frolic in it all day. I couldn’t force the school to open, that was beyond my control. I could, however, control my attitude. I could spoil #1’s and #2’s day by being grumpy, or I could take advantage of the day with them.

0650: Snow fell fast and thick, carpeting the ground.

0730: I woke #1 and #2 and told them to find their snow clothes. I had to work for a few hours but after lunch, I promised, we would go tubing.

1200-1700: #1, #2, and I spent the afternoon rocketing down the tubing hill and trudging back up, over and over again.

1730: Exhausted, we arrived home, where we sat around our table drinking hot chocolate and reliving our breakneck descents and near collisions.

1945: #2 had fallen asleep next to me; #1, who was drifting off as I read to him.

I don’t know what #1 and #2 will remember from their childhood—I have no control over their memories (as Randy Murry put it recently, parents can’t make memories for their children). I can, however, shape the experiences from which they will fashion those memories. At 0601 I could have let my annoyance spoil the day and taint their experiences. Happily, I didn’t.

#1 and #2 might or might not remember anything from our afternoon of tubing, but as far as experiences go, it was great.