Today was the perfect quintessential winter day. It snowed and we didn't have school. I mean what more could a kid want? And it gets even better -- we don't have school tomorrow either!
Last night when I went to bed, after having written my music post, the wind was blowing, but nothing was falling from the sky. I wasn't going to complain about school being canceled, but I didn't see why. I didn't think that when I woke up, I would see happy tapestries of white snow draped around the whole neighborhood!
I had the usual for breakfast - 4 pieces of toast, lightly buttered, cinnamon sugar, microwaved for 6 or 7 seconds (I've got it down to a science.) - then our neighbor happily let us borrow their family's old snow pants, and we tried on a bunch of them to see which would fit. Which can be rather comical, especially when you spend ten minutes trying to shove your stomach into pants that my kid brother couldn't get into.
Then we brought some inner tubes outside and started sledding! You're probably thinking, inner tubes? What's wrong with these freaks? Don't they know that those are for pools? Yes, we know. But it doesn't now here much, and we left all our sleds in the homeland (Massachusetts). So we'll use anything we can find. And evidently, so will every kid in our neighborhood - inner tubes, deflated inner tubes, deflated inner tubes in trash bags, boogie boards, half-broken boogie boards, boogie boards (broken or not) in trash bags (the trash bag thing makes it more slick), lids from dress up boxes, and even the side of a wagon. Some people who thought they were really exclusive had actual WSG (winter sport gear; sometimes it's cool to make up acronyms) like snowboards and those saucer things. Others of us were stuck with skateboards with no wheels.
But we didn't care. It was snowing! Actual snow was on the ground! Real fresh powder! Not just an inch or a little sprinkling - it was like, Woah! I can't even see the grass! Even if I dig down a little! We played with the inner tubes for a while until they popped or snapped or just surrendered to our rough-housing. We frolicked around in the fresh powder and wet down the huge hill in the street which took us about 70 feet.
Then we went to...the big hill. It was not just a little hump or a small pimple upon the earth. This was a mountain. Well not really. But it was SICK when you rode it. You'd just keep going and going and hope you wouldn't spin out of control into the creek. We were out there for like 7 hours in this powder. It was nuts.
I didn't just go around and prance through the snowbanks alone. As you can see I said "we" a lot. This we is me, my brother, my brother's friends, their friends, some other people, and their friends. Pretty much a bunch of fourth and eighth grade boys. I was the only girl there who actually sled down the hill as hard as everyone else. There were some other girls there, younger than me, who just sat and watched and frowned upon our youthful glee. They sat and drank their hot drinks and talked about teenage drama and whatnot. They didn't even have snow pants on. They just wore their jeggings and their fashion-forward jackets and their cutesy little hats. I, on the other hand, probably at least 3 to 5 years their senior, was sporting a different, rather vogue look. It's called the Snow Day Collection. It's an ensemble starting with some hike-em-up black snow pants (overalls, of course, with the stretch strap and the zipper in front!), greyish/black boots (my mother's), a nice, puffy, bright-blue jacket that doesn't really fit (or does it - maybe I'm just bringing back the cropped jacket style), some big REI gloves, and to top it all off, the Peruvian hat with the tassels coming down that makes me look like I'm (1) Ralphie from A Christmas Story and (2) bald. And underneath the ensemble is the most attractive of looks: it's the baggy pajama shirt with leggings and two pairs of socks, varying in height and pattern. Good thing the attractive part is on the outside.
So while fashionista me is flying down the hill and yelling and laughing with all the other neighborhood boys, I noticed that the girls who were not sledding did not seem that happy. They just seemed a little sad. Why be sad on a snow day?
Perhaps they were just a little embarrassed by my getup and baffled by my carefree, "I don't care if I'm a junior in high school, I'm going to sled down this hill!" attitude. Perhaps they were almost envious of me, of the fact that I didn't let my reputation get in front of my fun. The difference was that I woke up saying that I was going to have fun. I didn't care if everyone was whispering, "Woah, did you see that freak? Isn't she like, in high school? Why is she like, playing, in the snow?" Today was a day to be yourself and have fun. And a lot of times it's hard to just ignore what other people think of you, because in our society, first impressions and your "image" are everything. I mean, I wouldn't act like this all the time. A lot of times I have people fooled that I'm this way mature, ultra-slick and cool person when most of the time I dance and sing and tell stupid jokes and have fun.
But who wants to live their lives stuck in a mold, looking perfect, and never expressing who you are? I bet all of those girls would have loved to have even one ride down the hill. The point is, don't be afraid of being a kid and being you. I had the best day ever because I didn't let what people think get in front of me. Even if I did spend it with my 10-year-old brother, his friends, and a bunch of middle school boys.
Don't deny your inner child. That is the most important voice in your head.