"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Learning to Love or at Least Less Dislike Winter

I do not like winter. I don't. It is cold and it makes me grumpy. My hands crack and bleed every year not matter what I put on them. The air is dry which leads to constant thirst and more dry skin. I just want to sit inside covered in blankets and drink hot tea until spring shows up.

The only problem is my children. They have taken after their polar bear father and think 20 degrees is a lovely temperature for playing outside. They are ready to run out the door as soon as I crack it for the mail. A couple of days ago, Logan snuck out in the freezing morning in his pajamas and then howled with indignation and anger when I brought him back inside. Their love of frosty temperatures is incomprehensible to me.

But I love them, my children. So, I have invested in full winter gear. I have lined boots that reach my knees. They keep my footsies toasty warm. I have a great new coat that is water and wind resistent. It even has special cuffs around the wrist that hold it tight to my skin. I bought super soft and warm hats and scarves that I actually wear no matter how funky my hair looks. Gloves cover my chapped hands. I also have fleeces and turtleneck sweaters I layer beneath. I am searching for thin long underwear that will fit under my jeans. In other words, I am layered up and ready for the cold.

Is it worth it? Yes, it really is. Along with the cold, Hannah is absolutely in love with all things Christmas. All of the lights and decorations amaze her. Christmas trees in the middle of a crowded Walmart deserve intense scrutiny and compliments. She is simply transfixed by all things Christmas. So, of course, w0e had to go to the traditional small town Christmas parade.

It was so cold and so dark. She didn't understand what was going on but I could hold her attention because it was something about Christmas. Logan and daddy had left to sit in the car but Hannah and I stayed on waiting in the cold for the promised Christmas treat. I cuddled her close and whispered things in her ear. I told her how much I loved her, how she makes my Christmas more special than I could have ever imagine, that she is more beautiful to me than all the sparkly decorations. And then the distance, we heard the sirens and the music of the marching band. Hannah's eyes lit up that night. Each smile was full of joy and her face was suffused with the joy and happiness that belongs to children and a very blessed few. I saw those simple, small town decorations as dancing lights in her eyes. It was amazing. It was magical. It was breathtaking. It was still really very cold. Just trying to be real.

There I sat in my new winter gear. My body was almost as warm as my heart. It was a glorious night and worth all the layers and my cold nose.

So I am learning to love winter as I love all the other seasons. Why? Because contained within each season is precious memories and moments I share with my family and my friends. Because I do not want to sit out a moment of my amazing and blessed life let alone months each year. Now I have to go buy stronger hand cream.

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