Emotional · Parenting

The Snow and the Thaw

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Yesterday, which was January the 16th, the snow started to fall properly in Glasgow. It was beautiful: that really fluffy kind of snow that looks thick enough to lie as soon as it lands.

Thanks to Facebook Memories, I realised that the first proper lying snowfall of last year happened on the same day. January 16th 2015 came around, and the snow fell down in thick, fluffy lumps, lying all over the street and the garden.

I saw the Facebook photographs of my little guy playing in the snow last year, decked out in his blue snowsuit, wellies, a cosy hat and tiny mittens. It was the first time this little one-year-old had really experienced snow.

It had started to fall while I was at work. I remember coming home, and thinking that I really should take him out in it to play. He was pointing and “oohing” and I had to almost physically gee myself up to do it, but I did it.

I went to his wardrobe and dug out the snowsuit. We bought this together for him to play outside in winter.

I looked out into the garden from my first-floor flat window. We were about to buy a new home together with a downstairs and an upstairs, so that he could play in the garden while I was inside.

I helped him to pull on his wellies, zip up his suit, tuck the hat down low over his ears. This is awful. He should have two parents to experience these things with.

I got myself wrapped up. Because if I catch a cold I honestly don’t think I will be capable of looking after him this weekend. I can barely do this “well” let alone if I was sick.

I carried the little boy who had only been walking for one month down the stairs and realised that it was one of the first times I had left the house of choice in some time. I don’t think I can face people yet. I’ll just stay here where nobody can see me.

His excitement turned to tears when he touched the snow for the first time. It was cold and he didn’t expect it to be, so it surprised him, and it soaked his gloves. I am a terrible mother. I should be able to stop this and I can’t.

I took a series of photographs, posted them dutifully to Facebook and captioned them with lighthearted comments. I think I’m falling apart and I don’t think I can do this, and I really don’t know how long I can keep up the facade.

Now, fast forward to this weekend. January 16th 2016 arrived, and so did the snow. He was with his dad, as he is one day and night each weekend. I couldn’t wait to get him back so that we could play.

I made a plan. I function pretty well, actually, and like making plans for tiny experiences to share.

I pulled on my boots and went to Tesco, to buy him a new hat and gloves. I’ll get the one that looks like a bear: he loves to roar and pretend to be scary. Those gloves are his first with thumbs knitted in…isn’t he growing up?

He came home with his dad, and I heard him shouting that he was going to make snowballs with mummy, just like I had promised him on the phone earlier. We communicate about his progress, and our plans for him.

He ran up the stairs, and hugged me tightly. I showed him his hat and gloves. “I’m gonna scare you, mummy! RARRR!” I knew he would love that one.

We ran into the garden and threw snowballs. We made angels. We were going to walk to the bus stop and go on an adventure to visit nana and papa so that we could throw snowballs at them, too. We looked at the snow starting to fall again and I rang us a taxi instead. I am financially secure. I’m not well-off, but I know when we can have treats.

We tiptoed to their door and shouted “Surprise!” when they answered. They were delighted to see us. We are so lucky to have good family.

We made a snow angel. I showed him how to wave his arms and move his legs to make the wings and the gown. “Ok mummy. Look, I wave my arms and legs by myself now.” I actually teach him things. He learns from me. I’m an influence; a role model.

We played and played and I didn’t bother taking any photos. I don’t need to put up this front any more. This is just our wee moment.

In the space of a year, so much had happened. The snow had come, thawed, and then come again one year later. I also changed. My defences, insecurities and fears have by no means disappeared, but they’ve thawed. I’m more ready to face this. I’ve come so far, and I hadn’t even noticed.

In fact, I can’t wait to see the leaps I’ll make by January 16th 2017.

2 thoughts on “The Snow and the Thaw

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