Winter snow pants hang on the door of the coat closet rather than in it. Boots litter the floor along with chunky salt crystals tracked in from the porch. Gloves and hats tumble from an out-of-place box that sits more neatly on a shelf in warmer months.
Dark-too-early days combine with school cancellations and weather that makes playing outside seem plain-old-stupid. Ah, winter.
It’s hard to not get rolled over by the dark days of winter. In summertime, fireflies beckon. 9:00pm feels early.
These post-holiday months though, they’re slick with ice, boredom, and clocks that laugh at us when we glance to see whether it’s time for bed, and it’s only 7:30pm.
It wasn’t many winters ago when I was newly pregnant and not telling anybody. We’d wait until mid-February that year to announce that we were due to have a little boy in July.
This winter, that little boy is eight, and there are mornings when I swear he’s taller than he was at bedtime.
It wasn’t many winters ago when I was a young girl in Colorado. There, school was rarely cancelled for snow days.
My mom used to put newspaper bags over our socks, and we’d walk to school wearing Moon Boots. Once there, we’d take off our boots, put them in our cubby along with the newspaper bags that had kept our socks dry.
We’d put on our shoes and then repeat the process for the walk home.
People weren’t worried back then like they are today.
It wasn’t that many winters ago when we had so many snow days in a row that I wrote about what to do during them (snark version).
Another year, three in a row was a lot.
It wasn’t that many winters ago when Chief still looked out for us. Played in the snow. He was so much more than a dog.
It wasn’t that many winters ago my brothers and I learned to ski. We drove up Berthoud Pass with my mom in her 280ZX. Back then, the pass was more narrow than it is today, and it’d have been easy to fly off one of the switchbacks.
It’s still terrifying in the snow.
At one point, she lost control of her car, my youngest brother was crying, I was ready to jump out the door, and my other brother was yelling at my mom to stop being such a show-off in a sports car in the snow.
I can’t believe we made it to Silver Creek.
It’s not Silver Creek any longer, but it’s close to where we spent New Years this year. It still looks the same, this place I learned to ski.
It’s only been a few weeks since I drove to the mountains in Colorado with my husband and son. We drove over Berthoud Pass.
It was slick with ice, and twice, I lost control of my dad’s car.
By the grace of God, and all that.
Seriously, we slid to a stop about two inches from a truck coming the other way. A few miles later, we almost ended up in a snowbank. Which, for anybody that knows Berthoud Pass when it’s icy, is doing pretty well.
Winter now is taking photos of the place my brothers and I learned to ski, but now, with our children. It’s that it looks the same, all these years later.
Winter now is hearing “I’m bored” by 11:00am on snow days. It’s a surprise two-hour delay that meant alarms were turned off, breakfast was had, and snow angels happened on the neighborhood tennis court.
The playground slide was full of snow and super-fast.
A glint in the eye meant I’d have snow up my coat sleeve walking home from the bus stop after hurriedly removing snow pants and exchanging boots for shoes.
“We went sledding before the bus came,” he said.
His friend looked at me.
“We did,” I said.
Later, his tutor mentioned that he’d told him, too.
And so while the dark-too-early days get to me, and I’m ready for bed before bedtime, winter now also means seizing a few minutes before the bus comes to build a snow angel, to see how fast a snow-covered slide is, and to sled in grass that has just enough snow to be slippery.
It’s ignoring the winter clothes in the entryway.
It’s remembering that as much as hearing “I’m bored” hunches my shoulders, hearing laughter before school one day in the snow makes me realize that I need to treasure winter now, as I already miss winter then.
His smile reminds me that winter next will be different, that he’ll be taller, that I’ll be older. But sometimes, like today, when it’s only January? There’s more winter next to be had. Tomorrow.
Winter next is saved for the unknown because future winters are less important today than this winter is.
Because winter next is still this month, and next month, and all of the too-dark days until spring comes for a minute or two.
Until then, I hope to remember to celebrate winter now with my boy-now (because omg he changes daily).
I hope to remember to sled before school when there’s a delay, to not get annoyed by snow up my sleeve by a snowball thrown by him, and to try and cherish the moments as they pass while I also do not throw bowls of dinner at the wall when I hear “I’m bored.”
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. In the new format, which I host with Kenya from Sporadically Yours, each week is a little bit different. Week three of each month (this week), is a stream-of-consciousness post where you write for five minutes (or more) and just post. That’s it.
And yeah, yeah, yeah… I ended up adding some photos because I couldn’t NOT add them, but we promise, you’re free to edit as you’d like but editing is unnecessary.