At 8pm, the snow started. Thick white flakes began to tumble out of the night sky, leaving meteor trails in the streetlight. You noticed the flurries out of the window.
By 8.30pm you couldn’t keep still. The snow was now settled, an inch thick. The outside world cleaned and brightened under it’s new covering of cold.
“Time for bed” I said, as it was a school night.
You went upstairs, brushed your teeth, washed, and got into your PJ’s. Back downstairs you ask if you can go outside. You haven’t seen snow like this since you were a baby. It’s magical to you.
“Please can I go outside dad?”
My first reaction, adult, rational, is that no you can’t. See if it’s there tomorrow. It’s a school night. You need your sleep. You’ll get cold. You’ll get wet. Rational, grown up, boring.
You look at me. I look at your mum, she’s giving me that look that say’s “lighten up husband, live a little, remember that you were eight once, and when it snowed what would you have wanted to do?”
“OK then, you can, but just for a minute or two.
It is a school night!”
Even before I can finish that sentence, the door is open. Outside a small boy, dressed only in a yellow Pikachu onesie and blue Crocs (no socks), is whirling around, smiling, laughing, drinking in the sensations of being alive, outside in a snowfall, in the dark, on a school night.
It’s easy as a grown up to forget important things. Just because you have a mortgage, job, family, responsibilities doesn’t mean you need to stop having fun. Isn’t the whole point of being a grown up that you get to decide what you want to do? If that is the case why do we grown-ups so often forget this? Especially when it comes to having fun, to being spontaneous, to living.
I learnt a lesson that night Lawrie.
So a couple of days later, today to be precise, when it again started snowing as we were enjoying our morning mugs of tea, when it again started to settle as yet again thick white flakes filled our view, I did not think about your music lesson that was due to happen in 40 minutes. I did not think that we could go outside after our chores were done. I did not think that it was early, that I wanted some breakfast, that I hadn’t had a shower yet.
Well, actually, I did think these thoughts, but at the end of each of the little internal dialogues I added something. A “yes, but.”
“Your music lesson is in 40 minutes. Yes, but we can still get out beforehand, there is time if we just get dressed and go.”
“We could go outside after our chores are done. Yes, but the snow may have melted by then and it’s too beautiful to miss.”
“It’s early! Yes, but we’re awake and not many other people are awake so we’ll have the whole snowy world to ourselves!”
“I want some breakfast. Yes but IT’S SNOW!!”
“I haven’t had a shower yet. Yes, but IT'S BEAUTIFUL and MAGICAL and WONDERFUL.”
We made it to that snow. You, me, your mum and the whippet. We made it out, we smiled and laughed, you threw snowballs at your pals, the dog ate snow, we made it back in time for your music lesson.
And afterwards? Well, the chores could wait a little bit more, it wasn’t early anymore, I got to have a quick breakfast, but I left the shower till later.”
And we went back outside.