“Daddy, let’s go outside and play in the snow!”

I love that Brandon sees the snow and asks me to play. Adam was as excited watching the white flakes falling down, but he kept saying it as “no.” He ran around the house, pointing out each window at the snowfall, saying “no” over and over.

It’s amazing how differently you experience snowy days as an adult. When I was a kid, I clearly remember waking up early to listen to the radio for my school closing number, hoping to hear it so I could go out and play (sometimes waiting to hear them repeat it for confirmation). I was completely oblivious to what a snow day meant for my mom.

Now when I hear that my kids’ schools are shut for snow, my brain explodes knowing what comes next. First, they are going to want the details: How long will it snow? How deep will it get? When can they go out and play? And that’s not even mentioning how many times they ask, well beg, to go out…all before 9 am. My questions are different. How do we manage our 2 fulltime jobs with 2 little kids at home who want all our attention? Work doesn’t stop for snow, especially now that we’re supposed to have mastered the whole remote work thing.

I naively thought I’d get the boys ready, take them out to play, shovel and return to warmth in the morning – all without sacrificing too much work time. Sarah had already set out the winter snowsuits, mittens and hats ahead of time (otherwise we might have been lost). I thought the whole process would take half an hour, but it took nearly that long just to bundle them up. I definitely should have asked Brandon if he needed to go to the bathroom before he put on his snow pants. Lesson learned. With Adam, the mittens were his Achilles’ Heel. Getting him to keep them on his hands for more than a few minutes was truly a lost cause.

But the stress dissolved when the boys finally got to play in the fresh snow for the first time of the season. Brandon dove in to make snow angels. He was ready to sled and attack as we got outside, then realized he needed some advanced knowledge for a snowball fight – “Daddy, teach me how to make a snowball.” I showed him, even knowing this knowledge would be turned against me. I turned to check on Adam and got hit with one against the back of my neck. I heard Brandon laughing as he said, “Got you Daddy.” Guess he figured out how to throw one on his own.

Adam wasn’t sure of what to make of it all. He looked up at the sky to watch the flakes fall on his face. He took off his mittens and tried to touch the snow, but soon started crying, saying “cold” and “brrr” over and over again. It was adorable and ear piercing at the same time. I got him to stop crying and put his mittens back on, but he didn’t want to put his thumb in the hole, so his whole hand was smooshed into the main part. At least his hands were warm. I think.

Then Adam wanted to go for a ride in his wagon. He didn’t understand we couldn’t do that until I shoveled the driveway. As I started shoveling, Brandon asked to help and got one shovel for himself and one for Adam. They tried to mimic me clearing the snow. The only problem was they kept dumping the snow they picked up right back where it came from.

While we were shoveling, the township plow came to clear the street. That meant I lost my shovel crew. Both boys were mesmerized. After observing a few passes with the truck to clear the whole street, Brandon turned and said, “Daddy you should get one of those plows, it’s faster than shoveling.” Why hadn’t I thought of that?

Read more Making Time. 

January 2022
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