Valentine’s Day and My First Snow
Growing up in Southeast Texas, you don't see a lot of snow. I was in the third grade when I saw my first snow and I'll never forget that day as long as I live. I'm sure my teachers will never forget it as well. I'm sure they had their hands full. Between teaching, having a Valentine's Day party and the first snow a bunch of Southeast Texas had ever seen in their lives, I'm sure their memories of the day are far different.
It was a typical day for the most part. It was cold and rainy, but snow was not even on our minds that day. What was on our minds was the party that was going to take place during the last hour of the day. Like most 3rd graders, we were excited about the cake and ice cream. We were excited about not having any schoolwork to do. Add to that, the fact that it was Friday and you've got all the elements for a great kid day.
Well, I went home for lunch that day as I usually did and when my mom took me back to school after lunch, the weather was getting even colder. The rain hadn't really let up all day, but I didn't care about the weather. There was a party just a few hours away. As I got out of the car, I noticed something I had never seen before. Mixed in with all that rain, there were little white flakes flittering down from the sky.
I went back to Mrs. Bowen's room and told her that I had seen some snow. She corrected me and told me that it was just sleet and that it wasn't going to snow in Beaumont, Texas. Well, she's the teacher;she should know. Still in my little 3rd grade heart I was wishing for snow.
Now, let me remind you of something. this poor woman had a room of about 25 or 30 kids who were already hyped up about the fact that it was Friday and that there was going to be a party in a matter of hours. In other words, we were pretty much hard to handle already. Then...it started.
It must have been around 1:30 or so when it really started snowing. I don't mean an occasional flake I mean full on snow. it was amazing! It was like every kid in that school yelled it at once. SNOW! IT'S SNOWING!
Not one kid remained at their desk. We were all up at once going to the window to watch the winter wonderland form before our very eyes. Best of all; the snow was piling up on the ground and the cars and everything it could. We were beside ourselves with joy. In other words; we went totally and completely insane! At that point all hope was lost for any teacher regaining control of their classroom.
The Valentine's Day party was completely forgotten. Cake and ice cream no longer held any excitement for us. Every teacher in the building must have been praying at once because it wasn't long before the school principal was on the intercom announcing that our parents had been called to come pick us up and that school was closed the rest of the day. You could hear the reaction echo down the hall. I swear I saw a wave of relief wash over Mrs. Bowen's face.
It continued to snow into the night and all I wanted to do was sit in my chair in the window and watch it. It really was glorious. Of course, it being Southeast Texas, when I got up Saturday morning the winter wonderland had begun to melt and by lunch there was almost no evidence at all that it had snowed.
I look back on that day every Valentines day. My folks were not picture takers, so I have nothing to prove that it really happened. I've often wondered since how many teachers went home, made a pitcher of martinis and wondered why they ever thought they wanted to go into teaching. Sure was a great day to be a kid, though.