I become an un-blogger. And when I'm un-blogging, it means that my friends and faraway family fall further and further out of the loop of our daily lives, and I don't want that to happen.
This tiny sentence carries on its shoulders the weight of many days spent watching movies, playing Chutes and Ladders, making cookies, staring outside at the endless white stacks of heavy snow and wondering if our grass still exists under it all. It implies that we have been hunkering down, venturing out only when necessary and hoping that each new week's forecast will show an upward tilt to the temperature trend. It means the most of my free time is spent reading and daydreaming about how beautiful I will make my home look this Spring. It's funny how an unusually long and snowy winter can make you determined to erase it with the quantity of flowers you plan to pour over every available pot and perch. I have mentally painted my shutters, added hanging flowers and an inviting chair to the porch, planted our vegetable garden, and opened the sandbox for the sunny season.
Topher doesn't seem to mind this long and dreary winter. Every day he asks to play in the snow. Every day we spend about 15 minutes getting his snow pants, boots, coat, mittens, hat, and scarf on. Every day I drag him back inside when I feel wet and cold, or when I stop feeling anything altogether. Stripping down is much faster--5 minutes max. Then I make hot cocoa (Topher's has an ice cube in it because he insists on warm cocoa, not hot) and try to ignore the pile of tangled clothes and dripping snow in front of the door. It is never long before he asks me when we can go out again.
I'm lucky he has preschool to distract him three times a week.
Topher is actually thriving in preschool this year. Academically he is performing at a Kindergarten level in most categories (and he still has another year of preschool to go!) His teacher is utterly unfrazzled, no matter how much chaos swirls around her. She has the perfect no-nonsense and happy attitude to connect with Topher. Mostly, we are proud of his social improvement this year. He is a quiet child, but he is learning how to play with others and make friends and deal with problems and use his voice. My proudest moment this year came when Topher was chosen to be the "star student of the week." There is a poster we had to fill out covering all things Topher, and in the very middle was a giant star that read, "I am a star because..." I asked Topher, "Why are you a star? What makes you special?" He answered without even stopping to mull it over. His lispy voice declared, "Because I am a child of God." I wrote in his answer while fighting a heart bulging at its seams. The next day his teacher said that he presented his poster wonderfully and that he had remembered every one of his answers. He even demonstrated his special talent, hopping on one leg, to the whole class. Once again TJ and I were left wondering how we ever earned the privilege of raising this heart-wrenching little boy.
I thought the other day when I turned the calendar to March that the see-saw was definitely tipping towards Spring. It has snowed twice since then as if Winter saw all those calendars flipping him away and wanted to squelch any ideas of being defeated. But we know Spring is coming. It doesn't look like it or feel like it under this white blanket of sky and snow, but we know it is. And until it peeks out, I will try to appreciate what I have: a son who wears his snug size 4T snow pants and even snugger size 9 snow boots. Because I will never get him back. He will only be immortalized in the pictures, videos, and mental images I store. And he is beautiful. More beautiful than Spring will ever be.