“The truth is, you must change your thinking and become like little children again…”
As the kids grow, my role in their lives is constantly evolving . I can remember when they barely rose above my hips and would beg me to build with them, or color with them, or dance and prance around with them every day of their precious lives.
But, as they mature in body and mind, my dance moves no longer appear fluid and magical. My once fairy-like performance is unmasked and seen as the off-beat caper it is. The songs I belt no longer lull them to sleep or precipitate giggle fests on the living room floor. I get frustrated playing their 3-D video games that far surpass the pure unadulterated Nintendo amusements I grew up with. They climb walls and fight off villains will I am running into walls and fighting off nausea.
There was a time, not too long ago, that they not only wanted me intermingling in their play more often than not but needed me as well. If they swam they could not swim alone. If they wanted to play outside they needed my watchful eye. Painting, coloring, building – even counting, to start up a game of hide-and-seek, demanded my assistance.
A snow day was never beheld from behind a window-pane, safe and cozy inside the house. Rather, it was my physical exercise for the day. I’d gather the gear – hats and scarves, pairs of mittens, boots and sock – layers of pants and shirts all topped off with puffy coats galore. Everything multiplied by four. We are talking, an average of forty items that had to be layered onto their dependent, dainty bodies. Four tiny fortresses engineered to withstand the cold weather for what, I always hoped, was at least twenty minutes; that it just might be worth all my hard work.
I pulled them up the hills and pushed them down them. I’d sprint behind them, eating their snow dust, so I was there in the end when they inevitably bit it and needed me to whisk away the white powder from their cherub-like faces.
Once upon a time I rolled together all the pieces of the snowman, searched out it’s limbs and facial features, gathered it’s nose and outerwear and then brought him to life right before eight twinkling eyes. I was the sculptor and they were my muse.
Then they grew.
Soon, they didn’t need me to dress them nor was my idea of a snow gear cool enough for their tastes. Puffy coats were replaced with hoodies and mittens for gloves, bobble top hats for beanies or an insistence to go topless. The hills became theirs to conquer and the fall at the bottem, their thrill to embrace alone. They became the sculptors and the winter sports athletes and I became their audience of one.
I convinced myself it was a relief. I stayed snuggled up inside watching the magic transpire through the frosted glass portholes of my warm and cozy house. I reasoned that the muffled laughter penetrating my walls was just as good as the crisp and clear giggling that filled the air outside.
And then… yesterday I was summoned.
For the first time in what seemed like years, I was beckoned out into the winter wonderland by one of my own. Dinner needed fixing and the first round of soaked through snow clothes needed to be dried so my first inclination was to smile and wave. But, something stopped me.
Maybe it was the child within that always seems to be Pied-Pipered with the enchanting and much anticipated covering of snow. That transformation of our bland bare winter world into a winter wonderland calls to something deep in our souls. Perhaps it was the expectancy and hope that glimmered in my daughter’s eyes. Or possibly, it was the sweet mix of wanting to be young again and being wanted again that overpowered my need for control and peace and quiet and warmth. Regardless, I let the urge to step out of my new comfort zone overpower me and I left my world behind to be a part of theirs again.
For two hours I frolicked in the snow with my kids. But, this time I was more than their mother and guardian, I was their friend – a child in my own right, inspired by their free spirits and the invitation to be a part of their world again. I did not stand beside them or looking over them. Instead, I threw myself into the magical mess of them, colliding with the snow, allowing it to cover me and saturate me, dusting my soul with more than tiny white particles – but with pure and utter joy as well.
We turned our trampoline into a snow globe, bouncing the snow to flight all around us as if we were shaking it up in a sphere of water captured in glass. We lined up and spread our wings in grand attempts to cookie cut angels into the powdery ground below. And then, together, we took three little snow balls and rolled them to and fro, allowing them to accumulate and grow into the pieces of a friend who now sits on our deck, greeting us each time we pass through the kitchen, framed in by our sliding glass door. They picked out his clothes and collected his limbs. They plastered a smile across his face with eight tiny stones. I helped roll him out but they were the sculptors and I was their muse.
Each time I pass by him this afternoon, the site of him stirs something within me, calling me back to a time and place where I was emerged in the activities of my kids – reliving my childhood vicariously, through them. He beckons me to never give that up, to continue to submerge myself in the wonder my kids still exist in.
The world is beautiful frosted over with snow. It’s easy for me to sit back and just enjoy it from this safe place within. But, there is a child imprisoned deep within me that is crying to be let out – for my sake, and theirs. My friend on the deck reminds me my world is lovelier when I am frosted over with snow and chasing the kids around in the crisp, cold, wide open terrain, in which he belongs and they thrive.
Don’t just look at it. Sprawl out in it . Soak it up again. Allow it cover you in all it’s glory and make you a child again:)
Happy Snow Days!