Friday, November 7, 2008

Bring it On!

Until I was 11, winter was magical. It was a time I greatly anticipated and loved. I loved waking up and looking out my window and seeing the snow drifts -- you know the ones, that would come up to my window, which was incidentally over the garage! I prayed for snow days and could always count on a few a year.

When the snow days came, I would eat breakfast, make a phone call to my best friend, and we would meet in the snow. There we would be, bundled head to toe, hat, scarf, snow suit, coat, mittens, moon boots..the works! We would trudge out into the snow and lay somewhere between our houses in that beautiful white fluff. We would look at the sky, Carrie and I, and dream of our futures. We would eat the snow and just enjoy being in the cold.

When school wasn't canceled, we could count on sledding at recess. Kids would all come with their snowsuits and boots. We would run out after lunch and find Bud the Janitor waiting for us with garbage bags at the top of the hill -- the very big hill. We would all sled down the hill on garbage bags. It was thrilling and SO MUCH FUN!

I loved making snowforts with my brothers, and having snowball fights, making snow angels, and just being outside. Then coming in and warming up with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

All of this changed between my 5th and 6th grade year. We moved 6 hours south, to Coffeyville, KS. I distinctly remember how sad I was on Christmas that it was WARM outside! How dare it! I was a cheerleader in 7th and 8th grade. The Christmas parade was on December 1st, and it was 70 degrees outside! 18 years later, I still remember how irritated I was that it was SO warm!!!!

It wasn't always warm, we had a few days of 50 below windchill, and ice storms. So, we still had snow days, but it was because it was too cold for the busses to start.

Living there for 5 years taught me a thing or two. I got used to the warm. I got used to not having snow for 6 months. I got used to the warm winters and -- gasp -- I started to like it!

When I was almost 16 we moved to Utah. You know, Utah; the best snow on Earth? Yeah, that Utah. We moved in November. The next week there was a HUGE snowstorm. I was excited at first. It had been a long time since I'd been around a lot of snow. However, since I didn't know how to ski, there wasn't a whole lot I could do in the snow. My friends were all too cool to play in the snow, and I was too cool to play with my little brother in the snow. So, I started to not like the snow anymore. I didn't like that winter lasted so long and that it was so cold!

I moved back to Kansas 7 years later and again, enjoyed the ice storms. Ok, no, I didn't like the ice storms, but there is always a week in January where the temperatures will reach into the mid to upper 50's. That week is enough to give you hope and tell you that Spring is on it's way. I lived for that week every year.

When we moved to Utah, I was very depressed. Having just buried my daughter, and being newly pregnant again, I was SO hormonal and really was a mess. That winter was the worst ever. So cold, so snowy, no end in sight. Just gray and yucky. I haven't liked winter since then.

Why has my opinion on winter changed so much over the years? Why has it lost it's magic? Is it because I really like the warm weather, or is it something deeper? Does it signify that I no longer have the innocence that I once had?

Today, the kids and I bundled up and went for a walk. It is in the mid-30's today, nice and cold. As I walked and breathed in the cool air, I felt invigorated, excited for winter. I haven't felt this way in a very long time. I am excited, this year, to experience winter through the eyes of my children. They are so excited for the first snow (you know, the real one that will stick!). They are excited for snowballs, snow forts, snowmans, snow angels -- all of that, and then coming inside and having hot chocolate with marshmallows. I am excited too. So, I say, Winter? Bring it on. I can't wait.

Please remind me of this post in March when I am VERY done with Winter!!!


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Mama bee said...

Thanks for the reminder to see things through our kids' eyes. I know that has helped me to cope with our never-ending leaf piles. As soon as they go from drudgery to "ooh, let's see how big we can make this pile!" it becomes so much more fun.

AbeSaves said...

I know exactly how you feel. I am dreading this winter for the same reasons you hated your first winter back in Utah after Emma died. Just so drab and gloomy sometimes. I hope that I can learn to love it again...just as you have.