My kids go nuts the first time it snows each year. Early in the morning, I can’t wait to whip open the curtain hiding the big patio door windows and see what they do when they see what they see.
“Can we go outside?” they always, always ask.
No, Small Child, are you insane? You are barefooted in summer pajamas and you need to brush your teeth and wash your face and you’d probably catch bronchial-pneumonia-diarrhea-flu and who has time for that and furthermore are you insane? I mean, it’s less than 30 degrees outside.
But I think to myself, would it really matter if you just popped the lock on the patio door, ripped it open and – with only a smile – gestured out to the yard like a magician?
Without a word, you could offer free passage to the Spectacular Outside, no strings attached. Would it be so bad? They’d tear across the threshold, crazy, leaping out onto the lawn. They’d dance and flail in the snow, lost in the wild shivers of bare skin on crystal water. The flakes would melt in their tangly hair.
For a few minutes at least, until their caveman survival instincts kicked in, triggering the “TOO COLD! TOO COLD!” alarm fixed deep inside their brains. They’d scurry back inside, breathless and giggling. And they might remember those small, frosty moments forever. Even after they’ve grown old and senile.
And who cares if they tramp all over the carpet, their bare feet caked with snow and all the wet, dirty leaves I didn’t find time to rake up?
Honestly? I care. But maybe one of these days I can figure out my priorities. I bet if we thought hard enough, we’d realize that many of our very best childhood memories don’t involve following “the rules.” They involve the unexpected. A little danger. Let’s give that to our kids. Let’s wrap our trust around their warm little hearts and enjoy this season – this world – as they do.
Show your family a great time this holiday season. Show ’em the love.