I do love snow. But I’m done with snow days. I’m tired of having my life put on hold at the whim of the school district and city’s street parking rules.
In grad school, I did an internship at a women’s shelter. My job was to do psychological assessments of the children living in shelter. I also co-led a children’s therapy group. Over the course of that year, I got pretty attached to the quirky shelter,and helped out with other shifts, too. One shift was on a snowy Friday.It was snowing but not too badly when I got there. By the time my volunteer shift was over at midnight, the streets were loaded with snow. We hadn’t been plowed and my grad school car had something like one and half wheel drive.
I turned around and went back in.
Luckily,they were happy to let me spend the night. If you’re going to be trapped somewhere, a 32 bed facility is a good place to be stuck. There were no beds left, but they found me a sleeping bag and a cot and I set up shop in the children’s playroom. In the morning, I let the kids make french toast for their moms, and then we went out and played on the swings in the snow. It’s the best way to learn how to jump off of a swing–when there’s lots of snow for a good landing. The kids didn’t have snow pants, and some didn’t have good winter coats, so we just tripled up on clothes from the store room. By the third layer, the kids were big enough for adult clothes. I still remember a particular boy flying off the swingset wearing adult clothes as his top layer….they’d come unrolled in the flight, and flapped over his boots. For a quick minute, he looked like a party inflatable–flapping limbs and tiny face. He landed, and I quickly helped him detangle the extra lengths of fabric.
His toothless grin emerged.
“Again,” he said, “again.”