The Fifty Cent Tour

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Right Here, Right Now

"I love this right now!" - Alex, age 5 - on being outside during a squall of snow flurries that dropped by during recess.

I admit it. I am a snow grinch.
I'd rather huddle inside and watch the snow fall from my picture window than romp around in it.
I rank Frosty the Snowman up there with Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers ( from Halloween)
To me, Winter Wonderland is an oxymoron.
But I want you to know that I'm really trying!
Trying to find the silver lining hidden inside all of those grey snow clouds.
But separating the silver from the grey?
How do I even go about doing that?
"Easy", as any five year old will tell me, "You just look for the sparkly"

Today was served cold, raw and in the style of New England Winter.
Two choices of entrees
Stay home and ignore it.
Bundle up, trudge through and deal with it.
As school was in session,and I have bills to pay, I had to choose from column B.
I allowed myself time to gripe and hiss about it all the way to school, but once there I had to slap on a smile, feign excitement and do my best "Buddy The Elf " impersonation about the situation...
"I'm siiiiiiiiiiiinging about winter!
And as far as 24, 5-6 year olds were concerned why wouldn't I be?

And why aren't we outside, right now, enjoying it?

Once recess time came the kids were like thoroughbreds straining at the gate.
I would have sold my soul to have been able to sit in the warm teacher's lounge with a hot cup of coffee.
But there were no offers...
I made sure 24 kids were bundled up.
I trudged through the hallways with 48 booted feet thundering the whole way.
I took a deep breath, braced myself and got ready to deal with what was on the outside of that metal safety door.
I pushed in the punch bar and in an instant all that seemed so very black and white became color.
24 voices sang in unison a song of  SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!
I was nearly knocked over as a rainbow of parkas whooshed by to mingle with the magic spiraling down from the heavens.
Thick, white, goose down flakes were caught on tongues, collected on sleeves, batted around like balloons or just admired by the bursting-at-the-seams-running-in-all-directions lucky!
It reminded me of that scene in Willie Wonka where the lucky golden ticket holders were shown the garden of pure imagination for the first time.

"Thank you for doing this!" exclaimed Sara while bear hugging my waist
"Sara, I can do a lot of things but I can't make it snow!" I laughed
"But you bringed us to this, out here...and this is my favorite!"

I had to smile at Sara's joy. And yes, I did bringed her out to this... but it wasn't because I wanted to. So that, right there, made me a bit of a fraud and unworthy of her gratitude.
I rubbed my arms for warmth and took a good look around.
OK... it was hard not to love the snow at this moment and the way it floated down from the sky like that white feather from Forest Gump.
It was hard not to love that kind happiness and appreciation it placed inside of a little girls eyes.
It was hard not to laugh at kids bouncing off each other like pinballs.
It was hard not to get caught up in the joy of a child trying to catch every snowflake.
Yes, it was hard not to smile, just a little bit, at that old bastard, Jack Frost.

Most of all, it was really hard not to be blinded by all of that sparkly.

They count on me to lead them, my little band of kinders, but it is often them showing me the way.
 And that made it easy for us to stay out, in that wonderful snow, for ten minutes extra.
It also made the warmth ten times more enjoyable on the way in. :)

Peace ~ Rene


  1. What a wonderful post Rene.

    But really, I feel the same way about snow, and mostly in my case, extreme cold, that you do. Best viewed from inside or very very short forays outside.

  2. Rene, as I look out the window from my relatively warm house at the snow-drenched back yard, I am enthralled with your story! We are often reminded that it is good to be child-like, though not childish. (I am childish more than I care to admit.) Your story is *almost* moving me to get up and go outside, but I think that because I have no eager-eyed 5-year-olds yearning to go out, I'll stay in for the rest of the day.

    One of the things I love about you and your writing is that you told this endearing, beautiful, enchanting story and then near the end you referred to the "old bastard Jack Frost." Love it. Love your writing!

    Stay warm!

  3. thanks for the smiles. kids keep us young dont they. reminding us of its importance...throw a snow ball for me.

  4. You bringed me smiles, Rene. In my lifetime, I have learned (sometimes painfully) that children are our teachers.

  5. Thanks, you "bringed me" something I very much needed today.

  6. Little ones can easily lead us into their world.
    I guess that's what keeps us on our toes and young.

  7. Oh I feel the same as you about the snow. I went for a walk in it today and feel a little bit better (though my feet are still thawing).
    This post makes me feel like maybe I should take my students out to recess this week (we usually stay in - most of them don't have boots).

  8. Find the sparkly.

    Huh...this will be my new mantra for the year. And it came from a 5 year old. :)


  9. Ah, Renee, so much of life depends on our attitude doesn't it?

    Snow? It's my favorite!!!!!


  10. :) Thank you, for sharing the story.

    I think that is what I miss most about working at the school. The wonder and enthusiasm of the childern. They truly do make you see things differently.

    Have a great day!

  11. Very touching story, but I just have to ask why a person who hates winter and snow, lives so far Northeast?? :)

  12. We go to the frozen playground after school, and my daughter knows it's time to go home when MY nose starts running.
    Glad you had fun despite the effort.

  13. Awww... Snow is magical to little kids, isn't it? When we grow up, it might not be so magical, but we all have memories of making snow angels. They will always remember that you bringed them outdoors to do that.

  14. Well you melted this old Grinch's heart with that piece. Who'd of thunk that was even possible?


  15. You are so good for those kids. And it sounds like they are good for you, too!

    I'm with you. I'd rather be inside when the temperatures are freezing. Though it rarely snows in my town... so I might get excited about some snow. It has been 17 years since our last snow fall.

  16. Great short. Love the digs on Jack Frost. Love the spirit of the kids. Love the kid they brought out in you. We all need that (especially when we think we don't!) Thanks for sharing the snow. It's in the 70's here in So. Cal!

  17. I've always believed that, when it comes to the stuff that matters in life, children can teach us more than we can teach them.

    Sounds like you learned somethng from yours today.

  18. Thanks everyone for your comments...Today was bitter cold and made me want to eat every word of this :)

    The older I get the more I realize that I am a warmer climate girl. But not too hot...somewhere around 86 degrees all year...

    Now, that, Braja....would be sweet :)

  19. and i come here often because i (and many others) have found that you consistently bringed us joy as well.
    keep up the snow dnaces or however it is that you bring joy to the world
    and maybe teach us a few of the steps

  20. I hate the cold, too. Kids remind us of the small joys in life and the good in most situations! Lovely post!

  21. Yura Softie.

    The world is better for it, Lady Rene...

    Slainte. And catch a snowflake on your tongue for me.

    For Sarah.

    G'Nite, Lady Rene!!!

  22. Remember that sparkle as you sit there now feeling oh so cold. Lovely.

  23. Is it the additive bad weather experiences effect that make us worry more about the weather as we age?

    I'd like to request your opinion. You write many poems and song lyrics are similar. Would you offer your opinion of an idea for a remake of 'Suspicious Minds' I had? here's the link
    distracted minds


  24. Happy VGNO - I'm watching King Corn today.

  25. So cute the things kids say when it snows, my little guy yelled "NO! NO!" when he saw it. We've only had one night of snow so far this winter, we wish we had more! We'll take some of yours!

    Just stopping by late from VGNO to say HI! :)


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