Mom tucked me up well. "Mom, is it really going to snow?" She pulled the sheet up to my chin and kissed me on the cheek.

"That was what the meteorologist said."

"Will they suspend school?"

"It depends ... if they drop twelve inches like he said, they probably will."

"How good! I don't want to go to school… I want to play in the snow ”.

"Well, Michael, don't get too excited… you could be disappointed."

"But the meteorologist said ..." "Michael, storms are unpredictable," he touched my hand. "Go to sleep and we'll see what the morning brings."

She closed the door and the room went dark. Outside, the wind howled. Sleet and ice beat against the window. I heard Mom walk into the kitchen; everything was fine. I got out of bed, leaned out the window, and lifted the venetian blinds. Snow fluttered under the street lights and moved in circles on the pavement like sands in a desert. My pulse quickened… there will be no school tomorrow! "Michael, are you in your bed?" yelled Mom.

"Yes mom!" I ran back to my bed and pulled the covers up to my chin. How would she know? "You better be!" “I am, Mom! Come and you can see it ”. "Go to sleep!" "Yes mom!" I cringed under the covers.

The wind was howling and I was warm and safe in my cocoon. Mom and Dad talked and watched television. I listened to the wind and wished for a day off to play in the snow. ********************* "Michael!" Mom shook my shoulder.

"Michael, it's time to get up to go to school!"

"The school?" I turned around and looked at her. "Mom?"

“Sorry Michael, the snow passed us… it turned to rain. Schools are open ”. "There is no snow?" "Michael, you'll be late."

"But the snow."

“There is no snow, Michael. Get up and brush your teeth. "

I grunted and got out of bed. At the sink, I held up my toothbrush and looked at myself in the mirror. My reflection mimicked my sadness and disappointment. I imagined school: a children's prison without a snow day. On each side of the street, the remaining snow melted creating small rivers of muddy water. I watched them gather in larger streams. Chocolate land spun where the water pooled before flowing into the ocean.

Images of ships struggling to stay afloat flashed through my mind. The school bell rang brought me back to reality. My dream of a day off melted like snow in heavy rain.

The school day lasted forever. The teacher's words went unnoticed; I stayed at my desk self-lamenting. I kept thinking, "How could this happen?" The meteorologist said it would snow… everything was ruined ”. "Psst!" I turned to my right. My friend Justin looked at me and I looked at the teacher whose back was turned. "What?" I whispered.

“Do you want to play after school?

"I shook my head ..." There is no snow. "

"And that? The ravine behind the school is full of water and runs strong. We could play with our pots. We'll fill them up with our little plastic soldiers and see if they can survive the rough waters. We can throw stones at them pretending that we are pirates gunning them ”.

"Who is talking back there?" Justin and I jump up and look forward.

"Are you guys talking?" Our teacher stared at us.

"No, Miss Henneberry!" we said in unison.

She turned to the blackboard. "See you after school," I whispered to Justin. The bell rang; Justin and I hurried out the door and had the time of our lives. The pirates besieged the boats in the troubled waters of the current. Our ships sank in the dark waters. Two boys laughed and played until their mothers called them for dinner. The sadness I felt in the morning was gone. Tucked under my blankets that night, I smiled and thought, "What a great day!" That lost snow day is long gone, but his lesson is fresh. The day started with disappointment. A wish, a dream was gone.

Over the years, I have looked at my reflection in the mirror in the morning and felt the same pain. There were lottery tickets that didn't win the money you desperately needed. "Why didn't I win?" I was sorry; He had wanted it so badly… why didn't it happen?

There have been times when I didn't want to get out of bed because there was nothing waiting for me. The job he had had ended the day before.  Why did it have to happen to me?  My first wife died.

I looked in the mirror the next day and felt the same emptiness of "a day without snow." "Why did it have to happen? All the dreams we had for the future were gone. "

In each case, the circumstances were out of my hands. There was no use being sorry. I had to get out of bed, face the day, and make the most of my situation. If he hadn't, he would never have found a new job. If I hadn't gotten over the loss of my first wife, I would never have found a new love. If school had been suspended, I would have missed a great time with my friends.

When our day doesn't start the way we would have liked, we need to take control of the only thing we have control over… ourselves.

Michael T. Smith