Stop me if you’ve heard this. Last winter, I awoke one morning to a child wailing, “No! No!” in incredulous tones. In my disrupted dreamy state, I pictured a child with a severed limb or an exploded marker all over the family room rug (which would result in a child with a severed limb).
To say I sprang out of bed would be giving me too much credit. I stumbled out, still in a morning fog, but I stumbled as quickly as I could. Too quickly, in fact, especially stumbling down the hall, where I stumbled over the hall runner and heard a loud crack. I did some wailing of my own but kept going, now half stumbling and half hobbling.
When I made it downstairs to see what was the matter, the matter was something resembling a pale dustbunny huddling in the corner of the back deck. My daughter wasn’t wailing, “No!” She was wailing, “Snow!”
And for that, I broke a toe.
Kids love snow. I don’t. Not anymore. And not just because I am holding a grudge.
Kids love snow because they aren’t the ones who have skip a nice warm shower in order to risk a heart attack shoveling the walk and driveway first thing in the morning so everyone can get off to school. They aren’t the ones who have to drive in it with knuckles whiter than the stuff on the ground. They aren’t the ones who have to bundle and unbundle them and then mop up all the melted blobs that fall off of coats and hair and mittens onto the wood floor because some child-free architect didn’t have the sense to build a house with a proper mud room.
Kids love snow because they have no idea what a hassle it is in the parental adult world. Ever notice how all the Christmas songs about snow are nostalgic and frame snowy days in the context of childhood? Or else the songs are idealized, such that the snow falls when nobody has to go out and drive in it, or on Christmas (when dad would probably welcome getting out of the house for an hour or so).
Real snow is different. It’s something that only a kid can truly love.
We got some real snow over the weekend. Just a couple inches, but enough to have my kids beside themselves with excitement. I tossed them out in the backyard yesterday so I could have a few minutes to work — getting this post written, for example — to make up for some of the work time I lost during the day due to the snow.
But I lost some of that time standing at the door and watching them play in the snow. It was funny. For all my resentment of the toe breaking, heart-attack inducing, driving-stress causing soon-to-be-slush on the ground, I couldn’t help getting a bit nostalgic.