Thursday, March 7, 2013

Moments of Pure Magic

Three inches does not a blizzard make. The weather experts on the local and national news stations looked a bit sheepish last night when they announced that the DC area had barely reached two inches of snow. I couldn't help but feel bad for them and was happy for all the kids who were off from school yesterday. I'm sure kids all over the area were hooting and hollering on their way out the door with sleds and dreams of epic snowball fights. Ya gotta love kids.

On the news last night, a mother told a reporter how she'd searched online for the location with the most snow in the area and she'd driven her kids to Manassas, Virginia so that they could play in the snow. Beautiful! Good for her and her kids, I thought.

I love a good snowfall, but I didn't enjoy trudging through the slushy snow to the post office yesterday. The sidewalks were impassable which meant that the only recourse I had was to walk the one block to the post office in the cleared street. Almost immediately, I felt cold wetness in my sock. Nice. The winter boots I purchased two winters ago were no longer water-proof. Fun!

I remember as a kid when NOTHING kept me inside and nothing prevented me from playing outside other than restriction, no matter what the weather was. My mother bundled my sister and I up until we looked like mini-blimps and once she opened that front door, we were gone until nighttime. How did we do it? How did we stay out that long? I suppose those were more innocent times when parents could let their kids out to play and not worry so much. We had no cell phones to keep us connected with our parents and were never where we told our mother we'd be. Never!

I remember one snowy afternoon when my sister, some friends and I decided that we would make an igloo. I'm laughing as I type this. Not should we or could we, we would. I love kids and their incredible imagination. They have no fear and no censor in their heads telling them that it's impossible. Of course we made that igloo! It was a fine igloo-like structure and it took us all afternoon. I still remember peeking out of our makeshift doorway in wonder as the sun went down and the snow glistened under the back porch light like millions of diamonds. A moment of pure magic! We heard my mother yelling for us shortly after that and I remember worrying that the boys would destroy our igloo in the morning. I hardly slept.

When we got inside, my sister and I stripped off our wet clothing onto the bathroom floor. The hems of my pants were frozen and I probably could have balanced my stiff pants to stand upright. I remember looking at my red, chapped legs as I entered the hot bath, wondering if I'd lose my legs to frost-bite. The steam rose off the hot water and soon, I felt tingling sensations as my skin warmed up. I never did lose a limb to snow, but in later years, my sister and I would laugh that a hot bath is probably the worst thing you can do for near-frostbite! We didn't know and we didn't have a Merck manual at home. We simply played outside until we could no longer feel our fingers and toes and then, we went home with runny noses and huge smiles.

My mother was a relaxed mother or maybe she just needed time to herself. I, on the other hand, was not so relaxed with my young kids. I owned a Merck manual that listed every disease known to man and I used it! "Let me see that spot on your leg again," I'd tell the kids. "What were your symptoms again?" It got to the point where I was so frightened that something would happen to my kids that I couldn't relax. I threw out that Merck manual and my kids taught me to play again. It was either keep my kids inside or go outside with them because the world in the late '80's was much different from the world of the 60's. So, I joined in.

Last night, I took a slushy walk with my Pug, Ozzy. Again, I marveled at how the snow glistened and sparkled under the streetlight as we walked home. Pure magic. Today, my inner child is alive and well. Take your inner child out and get your play on.

Peace and love,

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