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I barely had time to register the soft thud followed by a quick pitter patter of my daughter’s feet jumping out of bed and scurrying into our room. It was early in the morning, with only the tiniest gleam of light coming in through the windows. Colman had been up half the night telling Sam and I off in no uncertain terms. Was it teething? I’ll blame it on teething. Hell, I blame every kid sleep problem on teething, from 3 months to, well, Emme is going on 3 1/2.

I tried to ignore Emme’s wee hand reaching up to stroke my face in bed. I wanted to turn my back and hide under the pillow and JUST BE, maybe sleep a few more months. But then she whispered in her sweet little morning voice, “It’s a Christmas miracle. It finally snowed!” That’s all Emme had wanted for weeks now, to go run out in the snow and maybe do some tracking (are your kids also obsessed with Little Richard stories?). So I grudgingly trundled out of bed and downstairs, ingested a few quick cups of caffeine, and then off we went. Out into the thin but very real blanket of white.

Colman did his best to mimic little brother Randy from The Christmas Story (I can’t put my arms down!):

Colman sporting the Patagonia

Emme squealed with glee and ran around the yard in merriment, flashing us her dimpled smile all the while.

At a more reasonable hour a few neighbors emerged from their homes. Adults and children alike delighted in the impromptu sledding session that ensued. It was simple. A few cheap sleds. Giggling children. Happy shrieks gliding down small hills. Groggy parents glancing lovingly at children. Rosy cheeks and frozen fingers and snowball munching all rolled up in one wonderful morning.

Time stood still for jut a little bit, and I found that my hope of JUST BEING had actually happened after all.