We awoke to a winter wonderland, not unusual in the Midwest; but a little more unusual considering it’s April.
My initial reaction was annoyance. It’s supposed to be Spring after all.
Nonetheless, the kids and I packed up our snow gear and went out for our Forest playdate. They had a remarkable time; playing with snowballs and taking snow showers under the trees. They were even able to practice writing in the snow with sticks and by using their whole bodies, creating letters in their tracks by hopping and running through the snow.
It was out there that I began to consider my thinking; children have no real concept of time and calendars. They may learn the months or days of the week but they hold a very undefined reality for them.
Adults on the other hand are ruled by the calendar. We associate tasks, deadlines and even weather to certain months or times of the year. The snow was no less beautiful today than it had been in December. In fact, it was arguably a more keen beauty since it so fleeting; not meant to last more than a day or two. But waking up to it; it didn’t feel like a gift. It was just another obstacle to move past.
Many times I may feel the same about the stages of young children. I wake up to chubby hands and sweet rosy cheeks wanting to snuggle or be picked up. Sadly many times I view it not as a gift but as an obstacle on my way to the important work that needs to be done for the day.
Because, as an adult, I can understand and appreciate the passing of time; I know how quickly it goes. I have the opportunity to look past the day to day tasks and errands and getting from one hour or day to the next and take stock of its overall passage. It’s then I can decide how I want to spend my time.
I may rarely get a Winter in April, it is the unpredictable Midwest after all, but I will not get these precious moments back. As the snow will melt and with the glittering beauty of reflective crystals; growing, changing and maturing into a new season, beautiful in its own right but different, so will the little lives mature and grow, needing less and leaving with them an opening where that energy went.
I will look back on these days with a nostalgia, longing for the sticky fingers and sweet baby voices requesting and giving their unrelenting love. Let me remember to stop and appreciate the beauty and wonder in every stage.
Life is beautiful; I can take the time to appreciate the moments before they pass.