School’s been closed due to EXTREME COLD. For two days. Officials are worried about busses being able to function in the -20 degree weather due to the fuel mixture they use, as well as they’re worried about kids walking to school. Thus, we’ve had two beautiful at-home days while we wait for temps to creep above zero.
Connor was thrilled to have a snow day, and Sophie’s excitement wasn’t far behind. I don’t know what he was hoping to do, but there wasn’t going to be any sledding, building snowmen or tromping up the path to see the white wonder of the world. I was just hoping that I wouldn’t have to pull the plug on the TV or mediate too many spats between small people who were bored.
On the first snow-day we ventured out late Tuesday morning to a coffee shop to meet a teenager who has agreed to instruct Sophie in drawing. This was to be our first meeting and since school was canceled, we moved our appointment up a few hours. Sophie’s been looking forward to this since we scheduled it two weeks ago. She wants to learn to draw more realistically; basically she wants instruction for dimension, shadowing, and shaping that make up eyes, noses, arms, feet, etc. She’s ready to take her drawing to the next level.
The roads were virtually abandoned; less than 10 cars appeared during the 7-mile journey to the coffee shop. The world was cold, white, ultra-bright, and still. We huddled in hats, coats, gloves and boots during the drive, trying to stay warm. While walking through the parking lot my nose hair froze.
I settled the kids at the table with our new 16-year-old friend and went to order drinks.
While Sophie and her teacher tore pictures of eyes out of magazines and worked on the basics of shape and shading, Connor and I drew on his notepad. He loves drawing mazes, and has gotten pretty good with his spirals and spatial movement. Over hot chocolate and coffee, we worked on mazes to challenge each other. I tried to incorporate spirals and curves into my drawing, and Connor encouraged me even though it was apparent that the master was levels above his student.
At the end of an hour tummies were rumbling, so we headed home for a quick lunch. Later we went out to Michael’s to pick up kneadable erasers and an Ebony pencil for Sophie. Our new friend showed us how a kneadable eraser can get into tight spots to blot out lines, and we decided that for $1.49, we couldn’t go another day without one of those beauties for each kid.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in quiet concentration. Sophie spread her materials out on the kitchen table, while Connor worked quietly in his room at his desk, listening to Harry Potter for company. By the time I called everyone together for dinner, there were two masterpieces to display as “decoration” on the table.
Weather like this forces us to turn inwards, and the result is that there is time, and space, for concentration and contemplation. Thanks, Boulder Valley School District, for closing school and allowing us some much-needed home time!