Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Days Are Great, Right? /HMD #17

I know I'm a freak, but unlike most parents who were bitter about the long Christmas - oops - WINTER break, I loved having the kids home for two weeks. Similarly, I LOVE snow days because we get to hang out in our jammies, have a big breakfast, bake stuff, and be slobs all day. Everyone wins!

So this morning, when the Princess appeared in our doorway in a panic asking if school was canceled, I was more than a bit stunned when I said "yes" - and she burst into tears. "This is so stupid, I hate snow days!"

It's mid-term exam week, and she had two scheduled today. They will be pushed back to next week. ("Bonus!" I say...) But she is upset because she was prepared and now has to worry and wait another 5 days to take them. ("Little freak-nerd..." said I.)

But the kid has reason to be upset. She's worn out. She has a sore throat, bruises all over her back and legs from cheerleading practice (no room in the gym so they practice all of their stunts and somersaults on the cafeteria tile floor), and a regional athletic conference cheerleading competition this weekend. So the snow day meant one less day of practice before the competition. The competition is the Saturday after exams...a lot of pressure to have both big-ticket items on your plate the same week.

Hence the tears and the stress all day.

[Begin: Helo Mom Dispatch #17]

However, the giant Athlete came over for dinner and a movie ("The Express" - worth the rental or PPV) with the family this evening. I looked over at the two of them on the adjoining couch, mid-flick, and she was slumped against him, dead asleep. He'd covered her with a blanket and had her nestled in his big long arms (yes, all you Helo Dads reading this, his large puppy hands were visible at all times). He caught my eye, gave me a shy shrug ("What was I supposed to do?") and tentative little smile...and got an approving one from me in return. The Beloved caught on, gave the situation a sizing-up, and sunk back into his chair, unconcerned.

When the movie was over and it was time to leave, he very gently said her name and she awoke with a start, mortified and apologizing profusely ("Oh my gosh, I didn't drool on you, did I?!? Please tell me I wasn't snoring!!!"). He leaned over and whispered something to her, and she hugged him with all her might as he stood to leave.

Well of course I had to know, I'm a motherhovercraft. So two seconds after he left:

Me: So....?

She: It's so sweet, I can't say it or I'll cry.

Me: [misting up already, dammit!] Well, now you REALLY have to tell me!

She: I can't believe I fell asleep. I'm such an idiot, he came over to visit, not watch me sleep...but I was so tired, I couldn't help it. And when I was sitting there with him, that's the most relaxed and happy I've been all day. I felt, I don't know, safe. So I passed out about five minutes into the movie. Is that weird?

Me: No. It's actually very sweet. And so...are ya gonna tell me?

She: Duh, of course! This is the weirdest part. He said 'You're impossibly beautiful when you sleep. And you will always be safe and protected when you're in my arms, for as long as you want to be there.' He said the same thing I was thinking. 'Safe.' And he was right - other than Daddy holding me when I was little or you snuggling me when I'm sick [a ritual we've maintained for nearly 15 years] , I've never felt that way, Mamma. That's the best nap I think I've ever had. I feel so much better now, and he was so nice about it.

Me: He's a nice guy... [turning, dashing away liquid evidence of my mushiness]

She: [...smiling...a lot...] Gotta go review some more. 'Night Mamma.

Our girl is growing up. I thank God each night that this boy is the first one to stray across her path, and I pray that whatever the outcome, they remain in each others' lives. Truth really can be (in this case) better than fiction - this kid's a rare find.

Just before burrowing in for the night, the Beloved said, in his succinct way, "Oddly enough, I don't plan to kill him."

A good evening for all, and to all of you, Goodnight.

Helo Mom out.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Even the mathematician has a heart, and this guy is scoring major points...

ignorant redneck said...

"Oddly enough, I don't plan to kill him."

That's pretty high praise from a dad.

I mean, there's one dad who will remain namless, who has been known to clean or "show off" the scariest gun in the house when he didn't exactly trust the date.

Packrat said...

I loved having my children home from school.

Love the Dad comment. Laughed and cried through this.

Anonymous said...

Ah that was lovely!!! And snow days are great.

Nerina said...

I enjoy school breaks and snow days, too. I taught 3 of my kids to play bridge last year and now we look forward to "opening the bridge studio" on days off. We also like sledding together and then coming back for the ritual hot cocoa and pop corn. I know it sounds incredibly hokey, but that's how we are. I didn't always feel this way. When the kids were really young, I was pretty worn out. Raising 5 kids takes an enormous amount of energy and some days I just wanted a break from it all. Now that they're older I really enjoy the people they are becoming.

Kit, have you ever thought about homeschooling? It's been on my mind a great deal lately.