One sign of my aging is the way I feel about the different seasons. In my teens and twenties I counted the days until winter and summer arrived. I loved the weather extremes those two seasons offered growing up in Ohio. From raging snowstorms and windchill factors that would turn bare skin into sheets of ice to blazing heat quenched only by a swimming pool or a local river; when winter and summer showed up in Ohio they had adventure in their suitcases.
Today, though, a man in my fifties, I would trade anything those two seasons have to offer for year-round spring or fall. I like my weather tranquil. I have two young boys now; what mother nature could possibly lack in adventure they rambunctiously make up for.
That's why this week when the rest of the Hanover County world was dreaming of snowfall that would swallow their yardsticks whole, I've had what a friend called the snow-pouts. I told her it wasn't so much pouting as detesting, but I guess it all comes from the same general bad snow attitude. One I accept. One I'm not getting rid of until I retire in the Virgin Islands.
I admit the bad attitude didn't help. The snow came. Not the kind of snow that buries your house alive like some weather experts predicted, but enough to make every step out of it a broken leg waiting to happen. It was the kind of snow that woke the boys early, sending them dashing to the front door to look outside into the pre-dawn darkness hoping to be the first to count the inches. Can we go outside and play, dad, they asked? Boys, we should probably wait until it's at least light enough to catch a glimpse of any vicious snowmen waiting to attack us. Because believe me, this kind of snow does come with vicious snowmen.
That doesn't scare them. I should know that. They love winter. They think it comes toting a suitcase packed with adventure. Where do they get that from? So for today I thought of a favorite old song: Look to the Children by Sister Hazel. Today I remembered the adventures of childhood and felt gratitude that, through my boys, many dreams are still alive.
Took a walk by the sea
I'd forgotten what it meant to me
Some things we should carry from the past
There's a boy and he's singin'
And in the wind his words are ringin'
His innocence it is buried in us all
As I look and see
That boy inside of me
May have seen a storm or two
But the dream's alive
And I, I, I look to the children
I look to the children
To Their Smiles