My son, a countdown KING, began pawing through the calendar recently. I didn’t think too much about it. I kept eating my hot oatmeal and reading my magazine. Without stopping he shot me a sideways question, “When is spring again?” I simply laughed out loud. “Seriously Mom, I need to know. When is spring?!”
Do I laugh twice, to humor myself? Or be nice? I took the middle ground. I laughed AND said, “GOD only knows.” I tried to keep as much sarcasm out of my voice as possible. Really I did. I don’t think he fully appreciated how much MORE sarcastic that could have gone.
“Stop it. I want to count down the days till Spring and I need to know the day.” I took in his innocent tossed red hair and his smattering of freckles. He really was clueless, poor lad. How do I break this gently when I don’t feel overly gentle about WINTER being this insane?
“Sweetie, there’s no date when this ‘ends.’ So truly, God himself only knows when. I wasn’t trying to be mean about it, but any date we put on a calendar is just for us to divide seasons up evenly. In Indiana, and apparently the world, this year, there is not going to be a nice graceful exit. It will come whenever it does. Period.”
My son was now riled up. He was taking his “mad at winter” out on me. That’s okay. I got it. I get his desperateness. I can honestly say this is his first real go at winter’s cabin fever. He’s always loved snow and the season. This year, well this year broke his ten-year-old tolerance level.
“Is GOD doing this?” The accusation and tone used made me swallow any humor I wanted to invoke and instead take a thoughtful tone instead. “Because God makes everything, Mom.” Yes, right you are. But I wasn’t ready just yet to sentence God, or myself for that matter, to my son’s hatred of all things white and cold at the moment. I swear, it had nothing to do with the fact I had a hot tea, hot oatmeal, and a fresh magazine in my lap either. I swear! Anyway, I answered, “No, honey, not exactly.” That’s better, right? I didn’t really say no… and not so much yes. “God made everything. He made the things that now control our weather. The pressure fronts, the ebb and flow of tides, and lots of things we wont get into right now, but those things control weather from day to day. God never says, ‘I think I will give them LOTS of snow so they can all go crazy,’ or says, ‘No rain for YOU so your lakes and rivers will all dry up.’ God’s not like that. He doesn’t send hurricanes to hurt whole cities and countries. Weather just happens. But yet, yes, God did make that.”
He nodded. It was an answer he asked for, and yet more. I was grateful that my hot things would stay hot, because THIS time he really could care less about the MORE. He ditched everything said once I defused the, “Mad at God moment.” He stopped flipping pages dejectedly. “So you’re saying there’s no end to this.” Okay, so NOW I let out that deeply sarcastic laugh. (It HAD been a long time coming. Give me that much, okay?)
“No, son. What I’m saying is that you can’t count it down like it’s Christmas. I’m saying you will wake up one day and go, ‘wow!’ At some point spring will sneak in and when we aren’t looking, it will begin.”
He gave me a long look, bit back his words, and turned on a heel and left. He’s growing up. Reality bites sometimes, and this childhood reality lesson may be one that goes unremembered by him, but he will retain the information.
For me? I’m gonna cherish the HELL outa this memory. My kid is growing up, and the snow-lover has bit the dust… at least for this season. I am loving watching my kids grow up, and there are so many little ways they do it. Each does it a bit different, but each paves a way past childhood and into the ages of enlightenment and maturity.
Okay, back to the tea and the oatmeal. I snuggled back up in my fluffy blanket on the couch and let that cold white reality fade away. And yes, they were still hot!
Wait, what was I now humming? Seriously, how did this happen? An ear-worm had planted itself into my brain and I was humming, “It’s the Final Countdown…” Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!