Winter has hit Boston. All of a sudden, there are snow days, snow piles, neighbors shoveling in the streets, and aggravated drivers finding roads that have turned unexpectedly one-way. On Saturday morning we decided to go for a family sled. There was some bickering, some raised voices, some aggravation (not the least of it, mine). But amid all of that, there was also Grace and Whit shrieking with joy, deep, untouched drifts of snow, and some happy sibling moments.
I am trying to see that part, and let the other stuff go. I’m not great at that yet, but I’m trying.
I’m grateful that Matt is healthy again and able to shovel (he is an excellent shoveler – I’m guessing it’s the Vermont roots). I’m grateful for my interesting book (about spies in the Cold War and Kim Philby; an unusual choice for me, but I’m learning a lot). I’m grateful that both children sleep well and soundly and that our house is warm. I’m grateful, grateful, grateful, and I’m trying to let that seep into me, to let it soften the jagged edges of family moments that aren’t as peaceful as I would have liked.
I am also remembering another blizzard, that of January 2005. Literally hours after we brought Whit home from the hospital, it started snowing and did not stop for a week.
Here’s Grace in her red snowsuit in the backpack. I remembered that Matt and I bundled her up and took her for a walk in the first days when Whit was at home. He was sleeping under the watchful eye of a babysitter. Grace had snow in her eyes, Matt and I were exhausted, and we were all startled, blinking in the bright sun of a new reality. I vividly recall bringing her back from this walk and handing her her new baby doll in the front hall, at which point she melted down in true 2 year old style, wailing that she wanted to “play with the real baby!”
When I remember that day, and that two year old in a backpack, I can do nothing but shake my head, shocked and awed at how time has flown. I feel heartbroken, a little, as I do, honestly, every single day of parenting. But I also feel thankful, and lucky, and deeply aware of both. Remembering my pledge to let that gratitude soften me, I close my eyes and say thank you, thank you, thank you, and then I open them, look out my window, and watch the snow fall.
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