A memory for tomorrow

Yesterday afternoon I gazed out the window, still in my pajamas, hot cup of tea in hand, tissues by my side and smiled.  I felt like complete and utter crap having caught a bit of pneumonia mixed with a little of the flu (thank you Hannah and Luke), but out the window was pure beauty.  Yes, the trees were covered in powdery snow, the kind that you want to scoop up and lick out of the palm of your hand, and there were light fluffy snowflakes still falling from the sky making you want to tilt your face up to feel them land gently on your nose, your forehead and your tongue.  But this isn’t even what was so beautiful.  In the midst of the blizzard, there was Hannah and Tim, outside, in their snowsuits, building a snowman.  I couldn’t hear their voices but I could not just SEE their smiles, I could feel them.  I could imagine the instructions Hannah was giving Tim for how to appropriately roll the snow to make the right size balls.  How to pack the snow to give her structure the right form.  I saw the giggles as Hannah rolled small snowballs and tossed them at helpless Bella who tried to leap away from each powdery sphere as it splattered in her small face.

And I thought, I Chose This.

So many times I’ve complained about the cold.  Complained about the icy roads, the school cancellations, the sickness, and the cabin fever that winter brings to New England.  But the upside, the benefits of the three, sometimes four or five, months of winter I am starting to believe outweigh the cons.  I have handed Hannah (and one day Luke when he is less fearful of the snow and will actually move a muscle and not just stand like a statue in his snowsuit) this beauty.  These snowfilled adventures.

I have such fond memories of lying on my back in a foot of snow, opening and closing my arms and legs until I believed I had formed the perfect angel.  I remember the hours I spent trekking up the neighbor’s hill, red saucer sled in hand for the 20 second thrill back down.  If I close my eyes I can imagine my frozen eyelashes on the chairlift when I learned to ski.  And the dozens, no maybe hundreds, of snowmen, big and small, crooked and straight, fat and skinny, that I made each and every winter.

I am now reliving these memories.  Watching these memories form through Hannah.  It was a push to get her off the couch and into her snowsuit yesterday.  It takes 45 minutes to get her dressed, zipped, mittened and booted up for about 30 minutes outside, but it was worth it.  Even viewing her through the window with my raging sore throat and hacking cough, it was worth it.  Just kissing her chilled red cheeks and rubbing her icy little hands between mine makes living through these winters worth it.

And it makes me realize how much of the future of her memories sits in my lap.  She doesn’t know the things today that she’ll look back on with happiness.  What things will make her giggle when she closes her eyes in 20 years thinking back on today.  But I do.  And what a responsibility that is!  Because not only do I want her to get a thrill from her days today but I want to be sure she has stories to tell tomorrow.  I want to be handing her experiences that I know she’ll love for her lifetime.  Because yes, no matter what we “do”, I know I’m showing her a nice life.  A happy life. But it’s the adventures, the excursions, the things that may seem like too much of an effort at the time, that will really stick with her.

So I’m glad I got her off the couch.  Not only to remind myself why I love where I live so much, but also to hand her a memory.

She can thank me later.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “A memory for tomorrow

  1. crnnoel

    Thank you for the reminder that snow can be a wonderful gift 🙂
    (feel better soon!!!!)

  2. I never get sick of reading your writing. You have such a beautiful way with words, sigh.

    I hope you kick The Plague soon!

  3. You describe something I wish I could achieve. But, the snow is something I despise. I hope that my children enjoy it much more than I do. : )

    P.S. Get better soon!

    • You despise the snow in general? Or just driving in it? You must get tons of it where you are, no? I’ve just decided to give into it. We’re not moving away from it and it’s so pretty (especially from inside under a blanket).

  4. k

    It is funny hows lifes little pleasures often get missed. It is not about what you do for a living but you do with your moments and how you treasure that moment. A beautiful reminder of the simplicities of life. The proverbial grass is never greener than your own back yard. ( or should I say “whiter”)

    • Yes, I have been trying to not miss these little pleasures and instead revel in them. A photograph can only go so far… I really need to LIVE in the moment or I’ll only remember the snapshot. And my kids won’t remember any of it… which I would hate to happen!

  5. I’m going to be all gushy and tell you how much I always love your posts. They are always thoughtful. Always. I have a lot of fluff moments, but you always make me think.

    You really did create a lovely memory for your family. I adore that pic.

    I hope that you feel better soon, you poor thing!

  6. I agree with you, giving your kids seasons and an ability to expect and live in snow is a good thing, and I’m speaking from Arizona, where we have none of that. From my childhood in Chicago I know it’s good to grow up in the snow – to hibernate a bit in the winter, to have the world look completely different covered in white. I’m not leaving here (asthmatic Arizonan), but I understand it!

    • There are definitely times Linda (like today when I’m in bed with an ear infection and sore throat) that I think I could do without the cold and snow but then days like Wednesday happen and I remember how much I appreciate it. Plus, without the winter, I certainly wouldn’t enjoy the summer so much!

  7. Wow, I love this post.
    I often think about what memories I’m making for my kids, and try to make some good ones…sounds like you did!

  8. Nicki

    I hope you feel better soon, Becca! Thanks for bringing up those memories of it taking forever to get the kids out the door to play in the snow. It has been so long since I had to actually bundle up kids for going out.

    • Ugh, the bundling. It’s enough to make me throw in the towel most days and say it’s not worth it! Something is always too tight, too hot, too itchy, too uncomfortable. But once it’s all on… usually it’s worth it!

  9. I love that, too. The way your kids can remind you that something you’ve been cursing can be a gift. As a kid who’s always grown up with snow, I remember the joy of a snow day–my kids still love snow, and their enthusiasm makes me smile.

    Now where’s the picture of the snowman? Every time I see one, I laugh.

    • Yes, I should post a pic of the horribly skinny snowman. With huge rock eyes, no nose and some dirt for a mouth. That’s what happens when DADDY helps with the snowman.

  10. I love when my kids go and play in the snow. We moved to North Carolina just to get away from winter but within 3 years found ourselves in New England. This is our 3rd winter here and we are slowly learning to love (or at least live) with winters. The kids will have happy memories of sledding and important memories of shoveling and comforting memories of hot chocolate.

    • There’s just something about New England! The seasons are so great. I could do without the dangerous driving and the cancelled school but a fresh blanket of snow is so magical (sometimes).

  11. Oh, Becca, this is such a lovely postcard to me, a former New Englander. So many of the images you describe seem like they were plucked out of my childhood – especially dragging that red saucer up the sledding hill. Yes!

    Good for you for taking the time to record these memories for your kids in words and in pictures. You’re right, they will thank you for it! In the meantime, let me thank you for sharing them with us.

    Hope you’re feeling better today!

    • Thanks kristen. I know I’d miss it if I moved away from it… although there are definitely days (like today being so sick) that I’d do anything to be in the warm climate! But since I’m here… I may as well enjoy it!

  12. Hi there!
    That looks so fun!

    I’m stopping by from Friday Followers to say hello!
    Have a great day!
    http://iamharriet.blogspot.com/2010/02/pensasnowla-florida-welcome-friday.html

  13. Hey there. LOVE your blog name! Stopping by from Friday Follow.

  14. Hey girl, back to tell you that I have an award for you over on my blog.

  15. Shell sent me over here from her blog, and I’m sooo glad she did! I love your way with words : ) I look forward to reading more!

  16. Pingback: When the picture doesn’t tell the story « Drama For Mama

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