I hate cold weather. Hate, loathe, abhor, despise--pick your verb. I promise it is not too strong. If I had to choose between a gamma globulin shot in the butt or being cold, my cheek feels better faster than my toes get warm. But this WonderBoy from my womb enjoys the cold. If it is falling white, he's all in for outside.
So I bundle up in layers and waddle outside in the ice to hang with the VIPs (Very Important Peeps) of my life.
And we walk down the street watching the water slosh under the ice we are on. I crunch along the side because my body is far more fragile than my ego these days. The kids scrape up ice pellets and make war...and memories.
And when our cheeks are numb and our legs are growing stiff, we wander back up the street to the warm home, and my angels make one last stop to leave a mark...or at least try.
Once we are back in the house, we get warm, butt the warmest part are the hugs and the thanks because, "You're the greatest mom ever." And they know we have the greatest life ever and the greatest family ever, and even when the memories of the details fade, the fact that their mom who hates the cold loves them enough to wander out in it with them.
Okay, I gotta tell you. It all sounds all Waltons, but the truth is, I really, REALLY wanted to stay in where it was warm and say, "I'll go out next time." I mean, really, is it that big of a deal? And isn't it just as good next time? Do we really have to do this right now?
It was February 4, 2011, and snow fell thick on North Texas. The schools called a snow day, and the kids called up the street, and we all met where the streets do with sleds, discs, and dogs to let the snow soak through our socks and gloves while daring and laughter ran amuck.
It was a wondrous day. A perfect day.
A hard day.
Not just because sleds crash, but because sometimes, life does.
While we walked out the door, he drove up the street.
He brought the gloves and hats the kids had left at his place earlier in the week. He stayed long enough to take a trip or two down the hill and hand out a few hugs.
When I asked if he wanted to stay awhile, he informed me he had work to do, and it's not like there would never be snow in Texas again. He'd play next time.
It did snow again, but he didn't play in it with our kids.
Eleven days after these pictures were taken, he was gone.
I could tell you more, but as I finished that last sentence, WonderBoy asked if I wanted to go outside again before it gets too dark. No. I don't, but I'm going to...right now. Because later...well, sometimes there just flat out isn't one.
Right now, life matters, and it matters how you spend right now.