I’ve been feeling a lack of funny going on lately, and haven’t been sure what to blame it on. When my sister-in-law posted photos of falling snow outside her house that is only 20 minutes away from my house a week or so ago, I started to get an inkling to the reason for my overabundance of serious thoughts.
And when I woke up to a view of snow-dusted mountains today, the cold and bitter white blending in with the beautiful fire red of the trees I have yet to drive up and see, well I just knew.
There will be no more funny for the next seven, eight or nine months — depending on what Mother Nature has in store for poor Utah.
My husband, who suffers miserably through the hot summers of Utah, has turned into a new person these past couple weeks. Always cheerful and positive, he now has an even newer energy. He bounces, for goodness sake.
Our 5-year-old daughter feels torn between the battle of right and wrong (hot and cold) in our house. For the past two years, she has declared she absolutely does not like the cold. “Mom and me like the hot. It’s the best. Dad likes the cold. It’s the worst,” were her frequent summations of our family. And if her crying sledding trips to the hill at the park with her dad are anything to indicate, she really does take after her mom when it comes to freezing temperatures.
When our 2-year-old was born, my husband declared he would mold her into a cold-loving, snowboarding, sledding daughter so he could have a cold-weathered buddy.
Well, that just doesn’t sit right with the 5-year-old.
Lately, she’s been bringing up the wretched subject of cold with a new energy. “Mom, I like the cold now, just like Dad.” Dad cheers, Mom retreats to a blanket on the couch.
When we go to the grocery store, she shivers in the refrigerated section for a few seconds before she remembers the new facet of her personality. Through chattering teeth, she proclaims, “I love the cold, just like Dad! This is so fun!” She thinks I don’t notice her quicker pace to get to the end of the aisle.
Through her constant discussion of the subject, I can tell she’s really trying to be like her dad. It’s sweet. When I was about her age, my mother was very vocal about her hatred of McDonald’s. Oh, it wounded my soul to hear someone could hate the home of the Happy Meal. Nevertheless, I wanted so badly to be like my mom, so I announced, with much of the same forced vigor as my own 5-year-old, that McDonald’s was no good. I knew I was lying, but it was more important for me to be seen as a supporter of my mom than to tell my 5-year-old truth.
Today, as I watched my sweet 5-year-old run to line up outside school, I noticed other kids in parkas and snow boots. I glanced at the temperature on my dashboard and realized it was 48 degrees. Lydia was wearing only a sweater and jeans. I know it makes no sense, but I frequently leave home without a jacket when the temperatures require one. I suppose I could say the cold fogs up my brain and causes me to forget necessities. Unfortunately for my children, I also forget to clothe them in the appropriate layers.
From my heated car, I watched her stand in line for about five minutes. She never shivered. I called my husband to consult with him over my lack-of-appropriate-layers decision. He stepped outside his office and declared the weather was perfect and not to worry about our ill-prepared daughter.
We’ll see if her recent switch in weather loyalties will hold true during recess today. Without meaning to, I think I may be forcing her to take sides with one parent. Though it will be difficult for her to manage a frigid recess, I’ll be sure to welcome her back to the right side — the bright side — with open arms. And I won’t even say, “I told you so.”
Here are some things I’ve been doing during my serious time. I write for a new newspaper in Holladay, Utah called The Wasatch View. You should check it out. I’m really proud to write for this paper. It has a great feel, and it’s going places. This is what I’ve been up to: