There are precious few things that urge me to be still. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as lazy as the next slob when I wanna be. But even then I’m a meaningless fidgeter. I wasn’t always this way, but with motherhood and work and more tasks than hours, it’s now difficult for me to do things calmly – logically. I can’t sleep in late, even when I’m tired (and sometimes I don’t sleep at all). I can’t sit and watch a movie at home without cleaning the countertops or doing dishes. I don’t even sit still in the car during the morning commute. There are always math flash cards to be done or spelling tests to give. And when that’s done, the dashboard starts looking mighty dusty.
It’s a sickness.
But snow is one of the things that can really take my breath away. It can cause me to stand motionless in my front yard after work, inch deep in dusty accumulation despite the fact that I’m wearing peek-a-boo heels and a water-sticky wool coat that are both getting completely soaked, turning my toes to popsicles and my lapel into a cold neck weight. I can stand mesmerized at my kitchen sink barely able to rinse a dish, as I marvel at the big mushy flakes slopping by. I can hang my tongue out like a seven year-old, face to the sky, listening to the pish-posh of the flakes as they hit my hat, my nose, the ground around me, and anywhere but my mouth.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with snow. I lived where the Navy lived … on the coast, in temperate climates, and at sea level. I lived in Florida, Hawaii, and California. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest I have the privilege of mild seasons, and the excitement of every-other-year-snow which, in my opinion, is the best kind. Unlike Husband, I am a real snow rookie, so I can only put up with it for a few days. We don’t have snow gear, and I don’t know how to drive in it all that well. I don’t even ski. Husband and I almost didn’t get married the last time I went skiing with him. Yet I am absolutely in awe of it. Around here it melts after a day or so, which in my book is just right. But for a day it looks like perfectly sprinkled powdered sugar.
Birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all palatable on my own because I can see them coming. I can plan around them for the “loneliness” factor. I can change things up, create new traditions, talk myself out of their significance. But then there’s a moment, like SNOW, and it takes me off guard a little.
I’m finding that I miss Husband more in the mundane than I do in the big moments.
I miss him in that moment just before I skitter across the start line. I imagine his goofy smile when we belt out ACDC at the top of our lungs all the way to church. I feel an oppressive weight in the moment just before I fall asleep. These are the moments.
So this year there is both an excitement and a sadness to the snow, because Husband isn’t here. The snow is always a muffle that quiets our rushing life and mandates that we hole up inside with hot chocolate and premature Christmas movies (if there is such a thing), and inevitably, fireplace snuggling. This year I’ll be remembering the snowman family we made last year, and the picture we took just moments before all the heads fell off. I’ll think about coming outside to survey the snowfall only to find Husband and Sweet Pea hiding and giggling in the hot tub. I’ll laugh and wish Husband would rescue us for the fourteenth time in the 4-wheel drive from our sled-bank crash landing, just in time to open the tailgate for a lift back up the hill in order to cram in as many rides as possible before the sun goes down.
I miss those moments.
So in the stillness, I’m thinking about how much more stillness I need in the every day. Those “moments” are the ones I take for granted the most. The moments are harder to find when you are consumed with writing the perfect brief or running to the store for the ingredients for a homemade class party contribution, or doing the dishes at 9pm. Tonight, I’m going to honor the snow. I’m going to go home when I should, buy the store-bought Thanksgiving goodies, and leave the dishes for one more night so I can crawl into a pink canopy bed for a snuggle instead.
I just remembered – there’s not a stitch of clean underwear in the house. I’m pretty sure. Unless … do bathing suits count? They count, don’t they? They do. Technically, they do.
Oh look, pretty snow!