Friday, October 23, 2009

Flexibility

By Susan

She’s a grown woman now with four children of her own, but she still remembers that snowy night when she was four. I remember it too, almost as well as she does...

The snow had started to fall softly around suppertime, just a few flakes here and there. By the time we were getting the children ready for bed a couple of hours later, it was coming down like cotton balls, heavy and wet. It was the perfect kind of snow for making snowmen, but there was only the thinnest layer of white just beginning to hide the dark green grass underneath and not deep enough yet. Maybe by morning...

I threw in a load of wash, picked up the toys, finished up the supper dishes, made lunches, and suddenly it was 10:30 and time for mommy to go to bed, too. I sat by the window in the pressback rocker that had rocked all four of my babies and would rock the ones yet to come, and I watched the snow fall. It’s lure was irresistible and I pulled my sweater tighter around me and stepped outside. I cherished these few moments in the late evening before going to bed each night. It was “my” time, and with the demands of a young and rapidly growing family, there was precious little of it.

The thermometer hovered just around freezing. The sounds of the world were muffled by the big snowflakes falling all around me. We had just bought our first house the previous summer and so we finally had our own yard. I thought about how much fun the children would have when they awakened and what a shame they weren’t awake right now. And never mind the children – this “first snow” was just as exciting and wondrous to me right now as it would be to them when they woke up to find the world transformed. And then, impulsively, I decided to make a memory.

I’m not sure why I chose this child of the four who were securely down for the night, but Christy was turning five that year, and I gathered up her snow things and took them into the room where she was fast asleep with her two sisters. Her older brother was asleep in the room down the hall, and her father in the room next to hers. I whispered and cuddled her awake with a promise of a surprise and helped her put her snow things on over her flannel nightgown before leading her through the darkened, quiet house to the front door.

“Snow!” she cried, her eyes shining in the darkness as I opened the front door.

“Surprise!” I said as quietly as I could in the hush of the night. “Let’s make a snowman!” I scooped up some snow in my hands and packed it into a ball. She stared at me in disbelief for a second or two (it was “the middle of the night” for her) and then shifted gears and began to roll the snowball I’d started for her into a bigger and bigger ball.

So then and there, in the middle Christy’s night, we made a snowman. It was the first snow of the season and the first snowman of our first house. A little girl lost an hour or so of sleep that night, but along with that snowman, a memory was made that would last a lifetime. Two lifetimes!


(See Belinda's "Friday Post" below!)

4 comments:

Marilyn said...

Oh, I enjoyed feeling the flakes and hearing the muffled sounds. Lovely! (I wondered, as I read, if would feel the same reading this in March as i do now in October's anticipation. i don't know.)

Anyway, yes. Break the personal rule and seize the moment and make a lasting memory for two people! Definitely one of the true treasures of life, breaking free and doing something as impetuous as waking a sleeping child for a moment of frivolity. Possibly you woke a sleeping child in yourself as well?

Suz said...

That was fun to read. My mother was much too practical to do something like that - I wish she had. It sounded magical. Thanks for sharing.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Oh Susan, how wonderful. Making memories ... one day, it's the memories that will occupy us, be our primary toy ... make'm big, make'm small, make'm when the snow dost fall

Olson Family said...

Oh! I LOVE this story, Susan!! How I needed this reminder to seize moments, be flexible, and make memories!! I'm going to deliberately and passionately LOOK for memory-making moments this weekend! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!