Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Calm After the Storm - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

My son wanted a White Christmas...badly. So badly, that he had me e-mail “Santa” the night before and ask for “lots and lots of snow.” Well, we did get “lots and lots of snow,” in the form of a Blizzard! But just a day late for my son. I fibbed and told him that if it snowed as badly as it had on Christmas day, I wouldn’t have been able to have us go to my best friend’s house to celebrate Christmas. Which also meant that he wouldn’t have been able to play with my best friend’s son nor her sister’s two children that day. So my son forgave Santa.

When my son woke up early Sunday morning he was practically counting the snowflakes as they fluttered out of the clouds! He kept running to the windows to see if there was enough accumulation to make a snowman...or at least a snowball!

Then around midday, the storm really started to pick up. My husband relented and said he would take our son to a park near to where his Mother lives, because there are small hills to ride down on a sled. My son was ecstatic!! We packed up his snow gear and sled! Then Daddy took him off to have some fun in his 4-wheel drive vehicle!

As predicted, but uncertain to us, the blizzard came on so quickly and fast, my husband was not able to get home even in his 4-wheel drive. They detoured to his Mom’s instead.
At first I was disappointed because I had promised my son that I would make the ”biggest snowman ever” with him on Monday, once the storm subsided. Unfortunately, everyone was snowed in very badly. And the roads were completely impassable. I opened my back door to let my dog out that morning and 4 inches of snow fell onto the floor...from behind the storm door!! I pushed the storm door with all my might about 18 inches - just enough for my dog and I to squeeze through.

We were completely and literally snowed in. We have a plow service, but they hadn’t arrived yet. There were 5-foot snowdrifts against my garage. If I opened my front door, 2 feet of snow would have fallen into my house. This was definitely a “go no where, stay at home," kind of day. And I began to like it!! 

I kept looking out of the windows to see the beauty of the snow on tree limbs and foliage, weighing each bow down. The pure, white powder, blanketing our backyard. Untouched in any way. Even our snowman windsock looked like a holiday card! Which it just might become for next year! Nature was finally still, pristine, magnificent in it’s own incredible way.

I thought back to my child who started this life in very much the same way: Pristine and beautiful, as all babies are when they are born. You watch them grow. You see how your manners, values and lifestyle influence their growth. Both the good and the bad! Then our children go through a period when they mirror us. I can remember my son watching me put on make-up when he was 2 years old and trying some out himself, as my husband freaked out over seeing this! I knew this was just a phase. Now I have to beg and plead for my son to put a tiny bit of Chap Stick on his lips so that they don’t crack!

My son is at an age where he is highly influenced by the norms of society, especially through his peers. His way of speaking, his gestures, his humor all demonstrate this. What he likes to do or dislikes is becoming apparent and obviously somewhat influenced by his small world. Like a butterfly in its chrysalis, he is metamorphosing right before my eyes!

They say that the most influential and formative years, where a parent has the most affect on a child’s “core” nature is between the ages of birth and 7 years. In many ways I can see how my interactions with him have had positive affects. Now it’s society’s turn. How will he fair against the odds when his parents aren’t around? How much influence will his peers have on him - both good and not so good? Only time will tell.

In a few days we will have a new year. Good or bad, I’m always curious as to where it will take me. And my somewhat optimistic nature always tends to see it as a fresh start. A new beginning. A time to change. Always starting out fresh, pristine, and untouched. Just like the beauty outside my windows.

I wish all of our readers a very happy, healthy, amazing New Year! Let’s see where it takes us all!

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