When the kids were younger, I’d look at the return to school after winter break with anticipation and glee. In fact, vacation always seemed too long, and sometimes—I’ll be honest here—the return couldn’t come fast enough. Having four little ones scattered at my feet could be a lot, and moving two of them from home to school cut down on the chaos. But those days are long gone. The littlest feet we have in the house are those of the cats, and when the school called for a cancellation on yesterday morning—the day they were to go back to school after two very long weeks—I almost wept with joy.
Because I knew that after I returned from work (my school only called for a delay), I’d be able to spend one more day home with my sweet kids. I wrote that previous sentence with complete honesty. As of late, I’ve been ruminating on the fact that time with these precious children is dwindling. The twins will be sixteen soon, and in about two and a half years, they will be off to college and out of the house. The other two aren’t far behind, and even though the youngest is only nine, I can hear the rumbling of the years as they seem to speed up and leave me in the dust. Too soon, it will be just Tim and me. And while I love my husband, I sure will miss my children.
So after I was done teaching, I drove home, asked if the kids wanted to go get lunch, and let one of the twins drive us to our favorite pizza place. We chatted, ate too much, and laughed far more than we probably have in days, and as I sat at the table, looking at the four faces smiling at me, a few tears pricked against my eyelids. For them, yesterday was just another snow day. For me, it was another memory, added to store of those I hope never to forget.