Yesterday I managed to let the kids get ready to leave for school without hounding (ie: yelling at) them each and every step of the way. Instead, I stepped back and watched my 5, 9, and almost 11 year old put on boots and warm coats, then gather backpacks and snow pants for their day. I am so used to feeling like I have to push them through the morning routine that this little act of stepping back felt like the first hint of thaw after a long cold winter, like the day I walked out my door and heard eves dripping and the long two toned call "teeeeeeeeeeee tooooooooooo" of the chickadee who had been silent for months.
As soon as the kids begin piling into the car the banter and verbal nonsense began to fly. Lila screaches at a pitch only to be described as "five year old girl screach". It doesn't even seem to matter what the commotion is about this time. . .again. . .The monotony of the moment is punctuated dully by the familiar crackling of studded tires turning over and over on our icy driveway and fading onto the dirt road where pale morning light exists, despite the sun still trapped behind the mountain.
After we cross one little intersection, it isn't far to go through a blink of an intersection, a tunnel of trees, past the large house and barn where, just beyond the silo, the field opens up. The top of the hill is lower here then at our own house, so the sun is already washing it's way warmly through the trees across the snow covered field and bathing the munching cattle in new light. At this point, I tell my kids, "Look at what a beautiful morning it is!"