Winter is not my favorite.
There. I said it. Please don’t kick me out of this state, fellow Minnesotans (or out of the family, my winter loving Dad.)
Yes we said we missed the snow. Yes it is beautiful. Yes we knew what we were getting ourselves into. We are not new to a midwestern winter.
And yet still, I can’t tell you I love it.
You know what I can tell you?
I can tell you that I am ok with that.
I believe it is ok to love parts of this season but admit it is definitely not your favorite. It is ok to see this season as a necessary resting point before the sweet parts of life begin knowing that when you finally make it to the other side, when the sun shines brighter again life will feel that much lovelier because of what you just went through. It’s also possible while maybe you do not love the season, you still find yourself smiling at moments that surprise you, the ones you know you can only get if you pause and take notice, the ones you will probably look back at one day and remember with fondness.
We’re not talking about the winter season anymore, are we?
I am always looking for the metaphors hidden in life. The winter season survival as a metaphor for the parenting season of survival is certainly not lost on me, particularly the one I am slowly approaching (92 days but whose counting?)
There are going to be moments, days, even years when you walk through a parenting season that is not your favorite. It could be exhausting, confusing, anxiety inducing, or maybe even just boring.
And if someone told you before “you should enjoy every moment” or “soak this up for it will be gone before you know it” or “don’t you love this stage?” Let me be the one to tell you you don’t have to. You don’t have to enjoy every moment, soak it all up, or love the stage. This might be your winter. And even when you are proud to be a parent, or a Minnesotan, you can still not like the winter. You can even admit it and we won’t kick you out, of the state or of the parenting club.
I’m grasping ever so tightly to this recommendation, my friends. While I say I love the zero to three age there are still so many, oh so very many moments when I am just not happy. It is these moments in my season I choose to not love, and I choose freely. It is these moments in fact I hope I don’t save too much memory for. Because I need lots more space for the good stuff from this season.
The hot chocolate sipping, cozy candle burning, comfy sweater wearing, flinging down the sledding hill in a fit of glee kind of moments that make winter awesome.
These are the stages I’m soaking up. Until we hit the summer days of parenting. Thats just around the corner. I can feel it.
Just as soon as the snow stops falling.
Meanwhile, since winter seems to be making itself right at home in the middle of April, here are the things I will always love about winter.
It’s long quiet walks, slow and steady through thick snow.
It’s finding a discovery of a new sport to love, and secretly hoping one of our kids becomes the next hockey star.
It’s stumbling upon hidden surprises, like a speed skating track on top of the Lake.
Its snow piles higher than the fence.
It’s the exploration of new skills, like gliding on the ice.
Its whooshing down a hill with fits of glee.
It’s catching yourself in a good moment when you see the beauty of winter for exactly what is was created for: a simple yet much needed pause.
This is why we put up with our Winter. For even the Winter comes with its own perfect beauty.