Unfortunately, most of these moments in time aren't so straight-forward. It's not so simple to label them "good" or "bad". Some are so wrapped up in the mysteries of life that they can leave us befuddled and conflicted.
Every year I come face to face with one that I'm still trying to figure out: the day the white stuff starts flying. For kids, it's simple: SNOW = FUN! There's something about those flakes that's like a beacon, drawing kids out into the cold for endless hours of face-numbing adventure. My son would stay outside all day every day if we let him. In his mind, December equals the start of all things winter and he takes it quite seriously. In preparation for all the he fun he anticipates, he starts wearing longjohns and extra socks in October, and the extra shirts and sweaters start coming out in November. He was almost in tears on December 1st because there wasn't enough snow to go snowboarding.
I'll take those tears over the other kind, any day.
We had our first real snowfall this week and it's been a mostly wonderful. Thank you snow! That might sound like sarcasm but it isn't. The front hall is an on-going disaster of soggy boots, hats, mitts, snowpants and coats, and I couldn't care less. It takes three times as long to make the trek to the school, so we start getting ready earlier. I smile even though there seems to be a chunk of salt permanently affixed to my socks. It's harder to get the kids to settle down for homework, but the trade-off is that they are spending a ton of time outside getting their fill of fresh air and exercise. It's easy enough to shift gears and change our after-school routine. They can work just as easily later in the day, with rosy cheeks and hot chocolate-filled tummies.
|To throw or not to throw?|
The moment arrived yesterday, though, that fills me with dread every year. I always end up feeling like an ogre. The innocence of kids laughter while making snowmen and angels, was contrasted starkly with the harsh reality of the searing pain of the first snowball smashing violently into the tender pinky flesh of someone's frostnipped face. The screeching barely started, before I found myself yelling "Play nice!"
I thoroughly believe that we should live by the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." I don't believe in that biblical equalizer, "an eye for an eye". "Two wrongs don't make a right!" is hardwired into my psyche. I am forever telling my kids that they need to give people the benefit of the doubt, and try find solutions instead of making problems worse. They are emotional, self-centred and impulsive little creatures, though, so it's easier said than done.