December 12, 2005
This is the view from the front edge of my driveway down my road. We had over a foot of snow fall Thursday night into Friday morning.
I used the snowblower for the first time…ever. It has always been Rob’s job and to be honest I have never wanted to do it and start some sort of precedent. Much better to fiend ignorance of that complicated machinery.
I went out to help my oldest son start the snowblower. (He does his fair share of acting helpless as well.) I got it started and began moving the snow off of the driveway. The children were all running around the yard, rolling in the snow, seemingly oblivious to the frigid temperatures. As I went around the driveway, a huge u-shape driveway with a long section that goes along the side of the house to the backyard, the kids would run through the blasting snow. They used the snow shovels to deflect the snow and try to spray it back at me. They were covered with snowflakes. Their cheeks bright red. Their laughter contagious. I couldn’t help but smile and after a while I wasn’t sure if my cheeks ached from the cold or from the smiling. Suddenly it wasn’t a dreaded chore anymore.
I watched those children of mine. Not long before this I had been looking out the window, annoyed at the amount of snow and the inconvenience of it all. My children had the exact opposite reaction. They couldn’t wait to get outside. When did that magical quality that snow holds disappear? It was gone long before I ever had any sort of snow removing responsibilities, I know that for sure.
But today, for just a little while, I had it back. I laughed with my children. I waved to the snowplow driver as he plowed my street. A wave of solidarity for two people conquering the elements. At least that is what the wave signified on my part. He was probably trying to wave me out of his way, but whatever. How often is it that it is socially acceptable to be outside with frozen boogers hanging off your face?
Afterward, we went inside and I made hot cocoa for everyone. How much better hot cocoa tastes after you have been cold. We shed all our wet layers of clothing and sat down huddled around the wood burning stove, trying to place our gloves in the best drying positions. As we sat sipping and stirring, and invariably spilling, our cocoa, the children began discussing their outdoor adventure. Who threw a snowball how far. Who tunneled under the snow the farthest. Who hit Mom with a snowball in the back. Their voices rose in volume, their stories became more animated and fantastical, and their laughter filled the room.
And for a brief moment I had that feeling back, the magic of the snow, the limitlessness of the possibilities, the sweetness of cocoa. And I thought this, this is why I had children.
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