Today was icy cold. The kind that bites under your skin and settles there until combated by a roaring fire and electric blanket.
When I was small I never wore pants. In fact, I don't think I owned a pair of blue jeans until the first grade -- and I didn't wear them unless coerced. I always wore skirts or dresses and only sometimes wore leggings.
I got in trouble once in Kindergarten and had to be separated from two boys in my class because of my fashion sense. You see, at least once during the course of the day my teacher would have all of us kids sit on the big rug for story time. When we sat down these two little boys would fight with each other over who got to sit directly behind me.
It would get physical and someone would almost always get hurt.
They each wanted to be the one directly behind me for the opportunity to sneak a peek up my skirt.
I was always mortified and hated that these boys wanted to see my panties. It didn't make any sense to me. I would get upset and probably cry a little.
Eventually, my teacher caught on and separated the three of us so that no one was peeking at panties or having their panties peeked on.
Well, my need to express myself via fashion was not limited to warm, sunny weather absent of breezes. Oh, no, I wore skirts and dresses nearly every single day. When temperatures dipped below 0 F and wind chill sent them plummeting even lower, I could still be seen in a dainty little skirt paired with Mary Janes or saddle shoes.
Today's icy winds and crunchy snow reminded me of a day much worse when I was about five.
My family lived within walking distance of my elementary school so I walked home from school with my older brother and sister every day. Sometimes my mom would pick us up but we got used to walking more often than not. This particular day, as I recall, was no different than any other.
The wind blew around us, cutting our faces with tiny shards of ice; so cold it burned. We were about 1/3 of the way home, having reached the edge of the factory parking lot where we bounded over low-lying parking separators like mini hurdles. The three of us had just reached the bottom of the tall hill on which the parking lot sat. We were crossing the railroad tracks at the base of the hill when we heard a car honking it's horn up in the parking lot. I was so cold with wind whipping up my skirt and biting at my cheeks that I didn't notice. It wasn't until my mom had come down and picked me up to carry me back up the long stair case that I realized she had come for us.
Mom began worrying as soon as she saw me. I was so cold from the icy winter weather that my skin had replaced it's normal rosy color for bluish tones. I just remember being very tired and glad to be spared the remainder of the walk home.
My mother knew just what to do. She hurried me home and put me in a lukewarm bath. Even the cold water felt hot and I protested but trusted my mom to take care of me. Eventually my temperature rose and I lost the blue tints to my skin. No lasting damage was done.
I still wore skirts or dresses nearly every day -- but I'd add a pair of thick tights on cold days.
My mom still knows how to take care of me. She listens to me and pampers my ego. I trust her opinion, even when I don't really like it much. She's my angel who saves me when I really need help.