Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: This is the Last Time… #SOL18
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Slice of Life: This is the Last Time… #SOL18

I’m starting to do it.  I did it in high school.  I did it in college. I did it when we moved.  Whenever there is a big change in my life, I start the countdown of the impending change with noting every time this is …


the last time…


This morning it hit me.  As I gathered the ingredients for pancakes, I stopped and realized.  This may be the last time Jack has a snow day with me.  Eighteen years of snow days together and today may be the last.  How did we go from snowsuits and sledding to making sure the roads aren’t too icy to drive to your friend’s house?  How did we go from you waking me up to announce, “Snow Day!” to me having to wake you before noon so we can call it breakfast?  How did we go from me having too much work to play, to you having too much work to play?  How did we go from spending all our time together to trying to find one night to have dinner together?

It seems like just yesterday when snow days meant hours of reading to you, napping with you, baking brownies with you, and making snow angels in the front yard.  As I think back over our snow day story, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I would …

make endless cups of hot chocolate

run countless loads of snow gear through the dryer

mop the salt and snow off the floor all day long

play monopoly for hours

snuggle up to watch any movie you want

cook lunch for the neighborhood sledding crew

deal with fifteen boys in my basement

bake trays and trays of brownies

take an evening walk in the blowing snow

catch snowflakes on our tongues

lose power for a week

negotiate never-ending arguments

burn popcorn in the microwave

shovel us out to take you sledding

help you build a snow fort

let my to-do list grow watching the snow fall with you

I would happily do it all over again

but it’s time

for it to be

the last time for us to have a snow day together.

Happy Snow Day, Jack



Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDebMelanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year

  • Avatar
    Kathleen Sokolowski
    Posted at 10:26h, 09 March Reply

    Oh no! This makes me want to weep. So beautifully written, but tugging so much at my heart strings. With a 7 year old and a 5 year old, this is a good reminder to do all those things you listed so I wouldn’t change a thing either.

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    Kevin Hodgson
    Posted at 10:30h, 09 March Reply

    Your list … seems like a list we could have easily made here, too … time does fly.

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    Carol Wilcox
    Posted at 10:30h, 09 March Reply

    This post is beautiful. I remember counting down my son’s senior year, the last first day of football practice, the last touchdown I’d watch him score, the last time I’d wait after the game. It sounds like he will leave with lots of happy memories that are sure to bring him back in the future! Enjoy these last few months together!

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    Michelle Haseltine
    Posted at 10:31h, 09 March Reply

    So sweet! I, too, think of changes like this. I think it helps me hold onto the past and prepare for the future. Beautiful post!!

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    Erika Victor
    Posted at 10:42h, 09 March Reply

    Tears! I could imagine my boys in almost every line (they are now 24 and 26). It is cliche to say time flies, but it does. Enjoy your countdown (only do not tell him about all your “lasts”), knowing it is bittersweet. There is definitely something to enjoy about every stage of parenthood and you will enjoy things about the next stage too! I miss my at home boys, but love seeing them when I can.

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    Aileen Hower
    Posted at 10:44h, 09 March Reply

    So not good with change here, especially when it involves lasts with my kids. This post spoke right to my heart!

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    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 10:50h, 09 March Reply

    Your words brought me to tears too! Counting down our lasts is oh so bittersweet.
    Takes heart – my post for tomorrow will most likely be about spending my snowday with my grandson. What goes around comes around

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    Posted at 10:51h, 09 March Reply

    And soon you will have new “firsts”. Now at my son’s 10th class reunion. How can it be 10 years since he graduated from high school? And the big first for this year will be two grandsons for Christmas. Can’t wait! <3

    The bittersweet of all the past fun as it collides with all the new possibilities! <3

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    Stacey Shubitz
    Posted at 11:07h, 09 March Reply

    Oh, Clare! This is such a bittersweet last!

    I once got snowed in with my parents during a blizzard (when I was in college and home for winter break). So it may not be the last one.

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    Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 11:32h, 09 March Reply

    Just lovely, Clare. Your list could be my list,( though I would change the “no power” thing!) When my kids left for college, there were tears (mine) each time.
    Waking Jack up before noon so you can call it breakfast–how well I remember doing that too.

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    Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 11:37h, 09 March Reply

    Oh man, it’s going to be anti-climactic if there’s another one after that amazing tribute to the last snow day.

    There will also be firsts. Maybe I’ll write that post for you!

    Your post reminds me of Irma Bombeck’s poem. Have you seen that? https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/49262-if-i-had-my-life-to-live-over-someone-asked

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    Lee Ann Spillane
    Posted at 11:43h, 09 March Reply

    Oh so bittersweet the lasts. I know big change is ahead for my son’s senior year. Thanks for reminding me tonsavor every second!

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    Susan Kennedy
    Posted at 11:47h, 09 March Reply

    I got that lump when all your emotions come pouring out. The moments are long, the years are short.

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    Kendra Limback
    Posted at 11:48h, 09 March Reply

    You have captured beautifully all the reasons why it’s never wasted time to have these moments. I’m staring at my own teenager, and taking in all of your reflections as I process what is happening here. But I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything! Thank you for sharing.

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    Lynne Dorfman
    Posted at 12:30h, 09 March Reply

    Just beautiful, Clare! The long list of things you did on snow days and just the idea of writing about a last time. I am thinking there are going to be a lot of first times in the future with grandchildren filling up your life. You are so amazing!

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    Deb Day
    Posted at 12:56h, 09 March Reply

    When my boys were in school, snow meant no work days, aside from shoveling the driveway (and that was enough). We always played games or watched movies. Even though they are out of the house with kids of their own, I still treat a snow day like a special occasion.

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    Elisabeth Ellington
    Posted at 15:14h, 09 March Reply

    Such a beautiful piece of writing! The bittersweet emotions are captured so well here. The list of snow day activities becomes a poem within the piece.

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    Posted at 19:18h, 09 March Reply

    Soooo much love in this post. I am still puzzled how my first two daughters grew up so fast and now even the youngest one isn’t small any more.

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    Whitney Karp
    Posted at 05:30h, 10 March Reply

    This is such a bittersweet slice, and it made me feel teary. I will hug my seven year old extra hard when he wakes up in the morning.

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