Let it Snow

December 13, 2010 at 5:02 am | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop | 13 Comments
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It snowed today. That’s rare for us.

The slick sleet turned to fat, fluffy flakes as we were in the car. I turned the defrost up and the radio down. From the backseat, Giggles asked, “What’s that, Mom? What’s that?” It snowed last year, too, but he was too little to remember. Lollipop answered him. “It’s snow! The clouds are raining snow!”

And then came the questions. How do the clouds make snow? Why is snow white? Why isn’t rain white? Where does the rain go when it snows? Will there be a rainbow? Can airplanes fly in the snow? Can birds? And on and on.

I answered absentmindedly, my brain focused more on the wet roads, the icy patches that might be there, the cars around me that didn’t have their lights on. I worried. I drove slowly. I ignored the pure wonder coming from the seats behind me. I just wanted to get there. Safely.

And, thankfully, we did. The snow stayed on the ground all afternoon, just a sprinkling, like powdered sugar on a shortbread cookie. When dusk fell, the kids watched from the windows as a doe came to nose through it for the corn their grandfather had put out. At bedtime, they pointed out the flakes in the illustrations of their story.

All day, they marveled. They made connections; they asked questions; they stood quietly and let it snow.

All day, I kept coming back to the car ride. To their wonder. And my fear.

Isn’t that the way of it, with snow and mothering? Somehow, once-wonderful things become accidents waiting to happen. Curiosity transforms into concern. The instinct to protect overrules the instinct to explore.

How did that happen? And when will I remember to stand quietly and just let it snow?

What are your children in awe of this season? How do you balance their wonder and your worry? How much snow did you get this weekend??

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13 Comments »

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  1. Oh, you are SO right! I can join them in their wonder when we can all stay at home, but when we have to drive in it, worry and pray is all I can manage. It’s the near-miss accidents, the wrecks we see along the roadside, the knowledge that this beautiful white stuff CAN be dangerous as well. The key is to let them wonder while you concentrate on keeping them safe, then join in when the ride is over.

    We got about six inches in the last two days, with a snow day today. I have to work tonight, so I’m hoping the roads are all clear by the time I make the drive down to Cincy.

    Great post!

    • Oh, I hope the roads are clear for you, too. Maybe you can send me some of your white stuff so I can try again to enjoy it a little!

  2. Yes. Although, driving cautiously in snow seems logical. Maybe you’ll get a white Christmas?

    • Yes, some caution was definitely called for, especially for a novice snow driver like me. But I never even let myself enjoy such a rare winter treat! And now of course it’s all melted. But next time … =>

  3. You know what’s crazy? We live in the Rocky Mountains and we’ve only gotten 1/4 of an inch of snow so far this winter. Usually we have 2 feet under our belt by now. I have a feeling we’ve got a big one coming, just from Karma alone.

  4. Love this post! What a perfect metaphor for mothering!

    “Isn’t that the way of it, with snow and mothering? Somehow, once-wonderful things become accidents waiting to happen. ”

    I think that is the way with everything and mothering. Everything becomes an accident waiting to happen.

    Not much snow here yet. Just enough to get my heart pumping as my truck slid into the roundabout narrowly missing the end of a passing car.

  5. This is a lovely post Stacia. Lately my daughter has been obsessed with the tooth fairy. How did she get in the door? Is she Tinkerbell’s sister? How does she know when to come to my bed? She is so full of wonder and anticipation about the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. It’s a real joy to experience this innocence with her.

  6. “Isn’t that the way of it, with snow and mothering? Somehow, once-wonderful things become accidents waiting to happen. Curiosity transforms into concern. The instinct to protect overrules the instinct to explore.”

    I love this. So profound. So true.

    And I love this post because I just left my home a bit ago to walk to Starbucks and it is snowing here. Lightly and quietly, but still. There is something magic about snow. For little creatures. For not-so-little creatures.

  7. I love your writing so much, Stacia. You have the ability to transform the mundane into the magical. “When dusk fell, the kids watched from the windows as a doe came to nose through it for the corn their grandfather had put out. ” Storybook!

    I actually fight the ‘protect’ instinct rather a lot in an effort to nurture the ‘explore’ instinct. I know it’s hard to comtemplate, but I educate and repeat and instill and then I let go. x

  8. Oh motherhood has definitely changed the way I view the world – much like you had described so beautifully here. Trying to protect our children is in our DNA and because of that we may have lost some of our own innocence and wonder at the profundities of this world, but someone has to do it right? While we may not see from their view now, at least we know what it feels like to experience such wonderment because we have felt them before. And I’m grateful for that.

  9. “All day, I kept coming back to the car ride. To their wonder. And my fear.

    Isn’t that the way of it, with snow and mothering? Somehow, once-wonderful things become accidents waiting to happen. Curiosity transforms into concern. The instinct to protect overrules the instinct to explore.”

    This is incredibly profound for me. I want to parent with wonder and let go of fear. That is a practice.

    I’m so glad you wrote these words down.

  10. Snow is so wet and cold and messy. I faintly remember trying to roll up a half-mud snow man as a small child, but every other memory is of being half-frost-bitten and soggy.

    But I get your point and it’s truly resonating with me. Sometimes we have to let go of our adult concerns and inconveniences and just marvel. At all of it.

  11. Your post made me go back to when I was little…and I realized that I never really enjoyed childhood much b/c I had always been a worrier. My mother was extreme, and I internalized much of her fears. Now as a mom I am working very hard to try and let go of my cautiousness so that I don’t rob too much of my son’s fun and sense of wonder. But I know exactly what you mean. Last week we had our rare snowfall as well, and my 6 year old went sledding down the hill behind our house with a neighbor. The whole time I kept telling him no no, not over there, come over here, you’re making me nervous, etc. It is so hard to find the right balance. I am amazed at how carefree children are and wish that we could let them be that way more.


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