I had heard of a looming winter storm that was all but certain was going to his the east coast a little over a week ago. I have seen these overly dramatized reports in which one over prepares and what is supposed to be a blizzard turns out to be just an inch of snow. Hell, it happened last January.
I took my mother and nephew to the airport Friday afternoon, so I was looking forward to a fairly peaceful and quiet weekend with just Cyd the Kid and me. Yeah, there was this storm that was supposed to come; but I was thinking we will only get somewhere between three to five inches. I had a screening of Kung Fu Panda 3 to take Cydney to in the city. I had seen a screener of it before interviewing Lucy Liu some months ago, so this was something I was looking forward to sharing with my girl.
On Friday night at around 11 pm, Cydney and I left the house to get gas just in case I needed the snow blower. It wasn’t snowing heavily. Cydney got all excited and said “I told you it was going to be a blizzard!” I replied, “We don’t know until it actually happens,” which was more than wishful thinking and hoping that the snow continued to fall at this pace.
I woke up around 6:30 am and thought to myself “It’s not gonna be so bad…It’s only about two or three inches outside,” and rolled right back over.
I woke up again around 9:30 am, looked outside and said “Well, that’s a wrap on today.” Cydney woke up shortly after in excitement. “Daddy, I told you it was gonna be a blizzard!” I was already over it.
All Cydney wanted to do was go outside. As I watched the governor of New York say that they were shutting the southern part of the state down, Cyd kept imploring about going outside. I kept telling her that it wasn’t safe to go outside; but of course, that didn’t matter.
Around 3 pm, Cyd began to get more and more restless. So I looked at her, told her to get dressed, and “You only get five minutes.” She was more than ecstatic. As she played in the snow, I stood five feet away in the garage. We went back inside, watched TV, took naps, and ate junk food for dinner. Cydney had lucked out that McDonald’s accidentally gave me two Happy Meals, so she had one for breakfast.
The next morning, I woke up and was about to begin the daunting task of shoveling. Cydney rushed to the door, looked at me crazy, and asked me how come I was outside without her. Cyd just sees snow and it’s fun to her. To me, snow is annoying because it has to be shoveled. I think that right there is a microcosm of how kids view the world vs how parents do. I’ll come back to that.
My back was very sore. Three days earlier, I had been feeling extra good and decided to find out what was the max that I could deadlift. I stopped at 415 lbs and felt beyond great about myself….after sitting in the car because my lower back was finito. Three days of rest and shoveling snow and brought it all back. For the rest of the day, my back was sore periodically.
Cydney and I looked at the storm very differently. To me, it was a burden and something that I wanted nothing to do with. My daughter saw the snow storm as exciting. It only comes at one time of the year. It was a canvas of infinite possibilities for her imagination all while being something to conquer. All she wanted to do was take advantage of an opportunity that comes once in a blue. Watching Frozen literally hundreds of times only fueled this obsession with snow.
Come to think of it, Cydney loves the winter the same way that I love the fall. She’s a February baby, so this time of year is when she is the most in her element. Sometimes I need to let go and just let it be for her sake.
By day three of being snowed in, I gave in a little bit. Cyd and I went into the front yard to play. All Cydney wanted to do was make a snowman and have a snowball fight. We threw the latter at each other for a little bit. I started packing up snow a little bit; but I knew nothing about actually making a snowman, so eventually I gave up and let my daughter conquer the mini-mountain I made before my back said “Chad, chill out.”
Cydney looked at me and said “Let’s make a snowman!” I told her that I didn’t know how. She responded “I do! Make a snowball for me. I’m going to roll it in the fresh snow and let it grow!” I did so, and a couple of moments later, I saw her with a much larger bounder in her hands. She made two more and stacked them up. Cydney said to me “Daddy, look! I made a snowman!” She did it all by herself. I helped her pack it in so that it wouldn’t fall down, picked up some rocks and twigs to give it a face, and Cydney went into the house to find him a scarf.
The lesson learned: sometimes I shouldn’t overthink things. The simpler that I keep things, then the more I can possibly accomplish. Also, I should try my best to tap into that youthful optimism. It keeps things fun.