Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Snow Is Melting

Yesterday, my three-year-old was distraught. He stared out a window to the hill behind our house and said, "Oh, no! The snow is melting!"

And I, being one who appreciates accuracy, said, "Actually, it's evaporating."

"It's mappabating? Why is it mappabating?"

Oops. I guess three years is a bit young to give the scientific explanations for the world. "Well, it's kind of like melting."

"Why is it melting?"

The reason he was so upset was that, after our last snowfall, he went sledding. But this snowfall, he never got the opportunity to sled. And now, the snow was disappearing from the hill, having had no opportunity to enjoy it. To a preschooler, that was reason to be distraught.

"Don't worry. It'll snow more. This is just the beginning of winter."

"It do?"

"Yes. It do."

It is sobering when a childlike perspective is pointed out. Frankly, I'm rather happy the snow is mappabating. But my son kind of pointed out the whole "look for the silver lining" concept. In our daily annoyances...and even in major life-altering events...there is some lesson to learn, something positive to hold onto.

Are you familiar with the song The Christmas Shoes? In short, a man sees a boy in the store buying a pair of shoes. The man feels annoyed at the long lines...but then he finds out that this boy is in a true hurry, wanting to buy the shoes for his dying mother. The boy tells the man, "I want her to look beautiful if Momma meets Jesus tonight!"

I'll admit, I cry like a baby everytime I listen to that song. But this man experiences a lesson in life. A lesson in patience. A lesson in appreciating what he has. He then laid the money down to buy the shoes for the boy. I doubt the boy had any idea that his own pain in losing his mother would have such an impact on another life. So much so that a song was written about him, and has been heard by millions.

We are natural complainers, I think. So self-focused we fail to see the world beyond how it affects us. And, truth be told, my son was in the same boat. He didn't want the snow to melt away until he got a chance to sled on it. Still, what a lesson to learn. Even in the troublesome times, how do we find what is good, or beneficial not just to ourselves, but others? Not an easy task, and one I must be reminded to do every day.

So what am I thankful about today? I'm thankful for the snow. For the snow that my children love so much. And not just my children. The fact is, there was a time I loved playing in the snow. Sledding down our neighbors hill. The wind stinging my cheeks. The impact of barreling into the picnic table at the bottom. The fifteen stitches that resulted. The scar on my forehead that still remains. It is all a reminder as to how even in pain, there is joy.


PVPeeved said...

Nice. I got home from work, having driven home in the first snow. Wife running out the door to go teache dance, and two kids (4 & 2) wanting to go outside in the new snow...

Even though all I wanted to do was sit down, I bundled them up and went outside and played with them. When the twins (11) got home all five of us continued to run around in the snow, until one by one they went into the house. I followed the 2 years old in and looked at all those rosy smiles, and was thankful for my childrens love.


RyanBruner said...

Great story, pvpeeved. Thanks for sharing!

Andrea said...

Gosh...all you good writers make me so jealous! :( J/K, I'm actually glad that there are people out there with real writing ability, it makes it a treat for us readers.

Thanks for letting us into your life and sharing your experience!

Andrea said...
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Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Thanks for this reminder, Ryan - especially this time of year!