In the Quiet of the Waiting

Have you ever been to a sporting event? High school football game? Little League baseball game?  It’s a bit rowdy and full of excitement and noise, right?

Even when sitting in a theater and waiting for a play to start or waiting in your pew for a church service to start, there’s a rustling and conversation and at least some noise.

Today, however, our waiting has been quiet.

Okay.  Those of you who know the Zoo Crew (my littles and Miss Sophie) know that there’s no way that could be completely true.  Not for ten hours straight.  And you’d be right.

But with the exception of the running off their energy in circles through the kitchen for about five to ten minutes this afternoon, it has been an amazingly quiet day.

There’s something about anticipation and waiting that fills us with awe and wonder.

We live in middle Georgia.  We get snow on average every three years or so.  The only significant snow I can recall in my lifetime was in 1973.  “The Snow of ’73” is what it’s called.  And folks who were around then know what you’re talking about.  It snowed long and hard and was deep.  I was four and a half or five.  I wore my little cowgirl boots out to play in the snow, because why would any of us have such things as snow boots?  I played with the little girl next door in the yard between our two houses.  I remember either her Daddy or mine letting the car run so we could sit in it and warm up while we were playing.  My feet were like ice, and when all the cold took over the fun, I remember going up on our backporch and shedding myself of all my wet things.  It was a beautiful sunny day, the sky was so blue.  And the snow.  There’s no white as white as the snow that day.  So vibrant.

We have been waiting for the snow today.  Folks started talking about it a few days ago.  The local schools made the call yesterday to close today.  Forecasters predicted the precipitation would start around 11 a.m., with it shifting to freezing precipitation by 2 or 3 p.m. and snow would follow shortly.

My littles woke up expecting it to be snowing.  They don’t understand things like weather forecasts and cold fronts and humidity.  They just heard the word “snow” and visions of snowflakes and snowball fights and snowmen and sledding began dancing in their heads.  Seriously.  We have never needed a sled in all of their lives, but yesterday they had the Fella go get his sled out of the attic.  I’m telling y’all that thing will get used even if there’s only .10 inch of snow on the ground.  They won’t settle for any less.

As happens the forecast was a little off, but let’s stop a minute and think.  How amazing was it that they could even pinpoint today as the SNOW day?  I’m in awe of weather forecasting.  Really I am.  It’s kind of like magic to me.  However, my littles are not as forgiving.  When we checked the noon news to see what they were saying, the prediction of snow was pushed out until tonight between 7 and 10 p.m.  If that man had been standing in the living room with us, I would have ushered him out quickly, fearful for his safety.

The littles were mad.  Especially Cooter.  We talked a bit about kindness and forgiveness.

Other than that, though, a day of awe-filled quiet and waiting and learning about patience.

My littles sang “Snow” from “White Christmas” together most of the morning.  Love.  That.

The cowl I've been working on whenever I had a few minutes for the past few weeks.
The cowl I’ve been working on whenever I had a few minutes for the past few weeks.

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I finished this project.  It’s not a hard one, but in the stillness of the day, I carved out some time and finished it.  (Do you get that finish is the important thing here?)

It snowed at Wesleyan, and I’ve gotten to see the joy on my oldest’s face as she walks around in the beautiful white, cold, fluffy stuff in the pictures she and her friends are taking.  It brings back memories of the snow day we had when I was in college there.  Is there a greater joy for a Mama than to see joy and peace and happiness in her child’s face? So thankful.

I’m one of the lucky ones, I know.  There are folks still trying to get home all over Atlanta and in Alabama.  There are schoolchildren sleeping in school gyms with no way to get home, and people sitting in their cold cars almost out of gas on the interstates.  I give thanks for being in my home with my little people and the Fella, knowing that the people I love are all okay.  I don’t take it for granted.  I even heard from Mac today.  “If nobody’s told you today, Mac Carter loves you.”  Thank you, Mac.  For the phone call and for the love.  He’s staying with friends tonight who have a room out of the cold.  I am very thankful for that.

Tonight I give thanks for singing littles, for children and puppies chasing each other around the house, for little people quietly playing with Legos and Playmobil people, taking little breaks to press their faces to the glass and sigh longingly.  I am grateful for my oldest and her good friends, who work hard and play hard and love each other fiercely, as only Wesleyannes can.  Most of all I am thankful for the warmth.

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Warmth in my heart.  Seeing the enchantment in my children’s eyes and hearing the excitement in their voices warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes…..

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Warmth in my home.

Miss Sophie, best foot warmer ever!
Miss Sophie, best foot warmer ever!

And warmth on my cold feet.

So thankful for home.  In the words of Edith Sitwell:

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home.

Y’all be safe.  Please keep the children and families and people in Atlanta and Alabama who are not home in your thoughts and prayers.  Love to all.

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