December 9, 2013 by Marj Hatzell
The forecasters predicted we’d get a dusting of snow, perhaps up to two inches, in the snowstorm headed our way yesterday. I didn’t think much of it when I drove to Tarzhay to pick up a much-needed prescription. The Bugaboo was bored, open swimming wasn’t for a few hours, and my husband hit the football game with my brother (GO BIRDS!) so I opted to walk around one of Bugaboo’s favorite stores while we waited for his script , the script I was supposed to pick up the day before and therefore he was unmedicated. Oopsy.
I left my house with a dusting on the ground but near white-out conditions. Odd, no? An hour later, I left the store to four inches of the white stuff (and no sign of stopping) and cars marooned on the side of the road. It was a slippery mess. It took us twenty minutes to make a three minute drive to my house. TWENTY. Yuckadoo.
At home I decided to make the best of it. The health club announced the club would be closed the rest of the day, so swimming was now out. Bugaboo was unmedicated and bouncing off the walls. The husband wasn’t due home for hours. Our internet and cable were in and out because The Guy I Live With was running new lines. After starting up the fireplace I concocted a plan: Drag out the snow stuff and see what still fits my kids.
There was now about 6 inches on the ground. So much for that dusting, eh?
I got everything out and handed it to Bug Boy. He and a friend had a fort and snowman to build, they said. The dogs happily romped in the backyard. Bugaboo hovered in the foyer while I dug through the basket of gloves and hats. I saw the interest in his eyes. “Do you want to go out and play in the snow, too?” I asked, though he’d never, EVER wanted to do it before.
I collected some things for him, got his snow pants out and dug around for a pair of boots. I laughed at the idea of spending thirty minutes to get him dressed and outside, only for him to come directly back inside when he remembered he didn’t like it. By then The Guy I Live With reappeared from the football game and began snow removal. We were now at eight inches.
Bugaboo pulled his iPad out. “Outside. I want.” I asked him what the weather was outside. “Snow. Snow. I want. Weather.” Intrigued, I asked him if it was hot or cold. “Cold. Outside.” Then I asked him if it was sunny or cloudy. “Cold, Cloudy. Snow.”
Right there, my friends, it struck me that this child knows far more than we give him credit for. He is LEARNING. He is PROGRESSING. It’s the first time he had EVER shown interest in the weather. And I realized that the past few weeks of asking for, “Storm Storm Storm ” weren’t an attempt to see my sister’s dog (aptly named Storm, of course). They were an attempt to have rain happen so he could go out and splash in puddles.
I suited him up as soon as possible, sent him out the door, and away he went. He spent the next two hours playing in snow, shuffling around in it, eating it, sitting in it, looking up at it falling on his face and eyelashes. He was in absolute heaven, proven by the fact that he was making his, “happy noises” as he played. I cleaned off cars and moved them so TGILW could clear the driveway. Bug Boy was in the midst of a snowball war with neighboring children. The dogs still romped and played. Bugaboo laughed and giggled and shuffled around more.
I felt such peace. The past few weeks have been difficult. Holidays without my parents are now painful and the anniversary of my father’s death was last week. I have major PTSD surrounding both of their deaths, due to the circumstances. I didn’t feel like celebrating anything. And I was kind of avoiding decorating for the upcoming holidays. We’re having structural work done to our cozy home and the furniture is all moved, things are packed away and I have no idea where I’m even going to put a Christmas tree, I’m feeling so unsettled. But there was something about this snowstorm…perhaps the eerie quiet whenever it snows? Perhaps the sound of the children on my block sledding and giggling with true glee? Perhaps my family coming back inside for hot cocoa with rosy cheeks to sit by the warm fire while the dogs snooze nearby on their beds? Perhaps because we were all happy and relaxed? I’m not sure. But this snowstorm was the cure for what ails me.
Life goes on, my friends. The pain never goes away but it gets easier to keep going after a while. New things happen, people come and go from our lives and we miss them terribly. But we keep going. New memories are made. And we can feel happy again. Even if we think at the time we never will.