The snow came. It kept on coming, crunchy and deep - so deep, it's spilling over the top of my three year old's boots.
I was going to say I've never seen snow like it, but that's not accurate. The truth is that I've never been in a position to enjoy snow like it. Not just because I'm rubbish with the cold, but because the last time it snowed like this I had to walk three miles home from work to a flat where snow was coming through the bedroom ceiling, and the time before that I had to walk four miles home from work to a flat where snow was coming through the bathroom ceiling, and the time before that I had to walk two miles from my freshly ex-boyfriend's flat to a workplace where snow was coming through the asbestos walls. Snow made my life unpleasant.
The worst that the snow did this time was prevent the supermarket from driving half a mile up the hill to deliver our oat milk, cat food and vaguely healthy snacks. Buying bright orange crisps from the shop around the corner won't kill us (very fast).
Despite all this, I quite like the snow. My eldest child came home from the maternity hospital amid heavy snow (she is not a winter baby). My youngest child was born at home while her father and her sister built a snow queen in the garden. Snow makes me think of my children.
And this year, I got to enjoy the snow with them. One of them more than the other, it must be said - the little one would rather be warm - but we have had a lot of fun.
We have built a snow castle. We have painted on snow with watercolours. We have cracked icy puddles. We have used icicles as wands. We have sledged at the park with their friends. We have sledged in a neighbour's garden. We have followed the trail of cat paw prints.
We have also spent a lot of time standing at the living room window, getting excited about the tiny snow plough bulldozing its way along the pavement and about the gritter which waved at us and - in particular - about the flock of fieldfares which has migrated down here from Scandinavia and has been working its way along the street, stripping every berry from every bush. It has been nice to have something other than the postie to get excited about (although the postie remains very exciting with his gossip and his parcels and his Mini Boden catalogues, just waiting to be cut up and glued).
With all this snow, we've given up any pretence of doing school work. Formal learning goes like this each morning:
ME: This is the letter you're doing today. Do you know what it is?
5 YEAR OLD: W.
ME: Do you know any W words?
5 YEAR OLD: Wet. Wobbly. Wish.
ME: Excellent. Put your boots on.
Google Classroom is currently a stream of snow photos - we are certainly not alone in our slacking, but I think the kids need this more than they need phonics right now.
And this parent definitely does, too.