Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Little Things in Life

Two months ago, I bought two children's snow shovels at a great price. I hid them away until either the first snowfall or Christmas, whichever came first.

This morning our first real snowfall arrived. I knew it was coming, but I didn't prepare for it by getting the children's snow clothes from our storage room at Mike's office. In the morning rush for school, Mike kindly arrived home with 5 garbage bags full of every pair of snow boots and snow pants we own. (I didn't have time to go to the office myself, and he isn't familiar with what boots/pants fit what kids-so he brought them all.)

Joshua and Drew excitedly dressed at once in full snow attire. Ellie had to be a little more cajoled into wearing snow boots that didn't quite match her outfit, and I kindly reminded Luke there is a difference between 6th graders and 1st graders and to please close his mouth when he was trying to tell Joshua "It isn't cool to wear snow pants to school."

In the excitement of the freshly fallen snow, I remembered the snow shovels hidden under a blanket in the garage and went immediately to get them. Only problem was, I handed them over to the two little boys with only about 6 minutes to spare before the bus was due to arrive.
Freshly fallen snow, two little brothers, two brand new shovels, the first snow of the season...

Drew: "Joshua, I wush (wish) you could stay home and play with me all day."
Joshua: "Mom, Can I stay home and dig with Drew today?"

In that quick moment I was reminded of how quickly time flies. I saw the 2T winter coat behind me laying among the strewn contents of five garbage bags emptied on my kitchen floor. It seems like just yesterday someone fit into that coat. (Why was it even still in a bag?) Atop one of the bags sat a discarded pair of blue snow pants that will surely not fit Ellie this year. They will probably be thrown out instead of donated anywhere, Megan and Ellie wore them well.

I turned back and looked out the back door at Joshua and Drew smiling and laughing in the snow. Snow continued to fall, as I know it is forecast still to do for several hours. Joshua looked up at me and questioned, "Can I still play?"

My vision became blurry as a lump developed in my throat, and I hollered out the window,

"You're only young once. Enjoy the snow day together."

Drew's smile out beat Joshua's this time as he announced, "Yay! You get to stay home for the rest of the day!"
The last week or so has been difficult for a variety of reasons, but my prayers were answered this morning in the least expected way--two little boys and a snow storm.
It seems that for today, my daily mantras became my actions instead of just my thoughts...

The days are long, but the years are short.

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.
Mike won't be quite as sentimental as me about Joshua skipping a day of school to romp in the snow with his little brother. Perhaps this charming quote will help...

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. 

~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762


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