Waking up to snow is not my favorite thing to do, although waking up is always a good thing in my book of life. Waking up means I have another chance to get IT right and to leave my mark here on earth for those that I love and meet along the way. If I were to go out and walk in the snow, I would leave my mark until someone else (or something else walked through or came through and destroyed my footsteps,) or the sun and warmer temperatures melt away the snow in the Spring.
This reminds me of a winter time very long ago, most likely in the 1950’s. We lived on Northlawn in the city of Detroit. My mother and father were not the types of parents who bundled up and went outside on a snowy day and played with their kids in the snow. But I remember my parents packing us up in the car taking us to Belle Isle down on the Detroit River for a sleigh ride. It’s not only the sleigh ride that is so memorable to me but when the ride was over both my mom and dad bent down to pick up snow making great snowballs (in my 7,8, or 9-year-old memory) and started a snowball fight with my brothers and me. (What a great memory, on a day like today.)
I know I have played in the snow with my oldest Steve, but many of those memories have faded, and I soon hope that we can sit and have an afternoon to recapture them. Sometimes all it takes it looking through a photo album to recapture the past and bring it into the present and wrap it up with a bright bow.
Playing in the snow with Alex was fun when he was very young before Autism started affecting his sensory reactions. One year he loved the cold fluffy white icy mystery and soon after he was terrified of the crunchy sounds that came from walking on the snow. Getting bundled up to go out in the cold became a challenge as well so when Alex’s contemporaries were out and about playing in the snow building forts, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, the happy squeals from years before diminished to pure fear.
This morning as I sit here in front of my patio door looking out at the snow-covered trees, the summer chairs that didn’t get a lot of use this past season as well as our grill, I am pondering the question if I am as good a mom as my mom was?
I know I grew up thinking we had a love-hate relationship, but I knew she loved me. I just wondered why there were so many things she wished were different about me. WOW, what a revelation that was getting to know her before she passed. She was just a mother, wanting the best for her children. It’s not that she didn’t approve of us, if she didn’t understand, she wanted to and tried. She admitted to me she didn’t think of herself as being a smart person. I think my mother equated smart with going to college. My mom was smart; however, she was opinionated, and sometimes that got her stuck in her thinking and processing
I think, Richard and I are very much like my mom and dad. We love our boys, but we are so driven to make sure we can provide for them that we sometimes forget that we are not giving them what they need. What our children need, and what we need is time together. I may not remember a lot of winter time with my parents, but summer time we went to beach together. Mom and dad both liked the sun and water, and although it was a lot of work to pack up the car and it was a long drive back in the day, we went as a family with all the squabbling in the backseat. Rich and I also spent more summertime activities with our boys.
We learn from our parents, and I can only hope I learned all the right things from my mother and father. They may not have been perfect, but they were excellent. They taught me how to love, how to forgive, and how to appreciate. My father showed me that you start your day with a smile. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you are AWESOME. Begin your day by sharing your smile with everyone you meet whether they want it or not. You have no control over someone else’s emotions.
My mother and I shared a song, and I still sing this to Alex:
“The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away”