Perspective

I must admit, I can’t stand snow. It has to be shoveled and after the snow plow pushes the snow back into my driveway, it has to be shoveled again. But my wife and I have chosen to live in the Greater Boston area so snow comes with the territory and we have always done our best to deal with it. I don’t like it, but I deal with it.

Last Friday, it snowed. I knew the storm was coming and although I was ready for it, I waited until Saturday morning to shovel my driveway. As I was shoveling the driveway, Joshua and Chloe came out to play in our front yard. They started with a simple snow man and then they moved onto snow angels. They were having a blast just rolling around in the snow as I was getting grumpier at the work I still had left to do. While I watched the two of them playing in our snowy sanctuary, my mind drifted back to a white covered morning two years ago…

I had just come in from shoveling the driveway and I was getting ready for work. I asked Stephanie if she wanted me to take Joshua to pre-school. I knew it would add extra time to my commute but it made more sense for me to drive him then for Stephanie to bundle up our eight month old daughter, Chloe, trudge out into the snow, get both children into the car, fight traffic to get Joshua to pre-school on time, get both kids out of the car, take Joshua into his classroom, put Chloe back into the car, fight the weather and traffic to get home safely, and then after three hours, turn around and do it all over again, just to pick him up. It may not sound like a lot on a regular day but when you add in the element of foul weather, it just made sense for me to take Joshua to pre-school and limit the number of car trips Stephanie would have to take with the baby to just one.

It was unfortunate that I had forgotten the most important factor in this scenario. I hadn’t accounted for how long it would actually take me to get Joshua ready for pre-school and into the car so I could drop him off on time and make it to work. My day was getting off to a later start by the minute and no matter how hard I tried to get Joshua ready quickly, it just wasn’t happening.

Stephanie and I finally got him ready to go to pre-school. I opened the door, quickly walked down our front steps, grabbed Joshua’s booster seat from Stephanie’s car and as I closed the door to her car, I turned around to see Joshua standing there with a big snowball in his hand and a nefarious grin on his face.

“Don’t do it Josh, I’m not in the mood today.” I said sternly as he just laughed at me with that chuckle that said I was in trouble. “I mean it Josh, I wouldn’t do it.”

I turned to walk to my car and Joshua threw his snowball at me. As his snowball whizzed past my head, I stopped and slowly turned around. Josh started to laugh hysterically and he quickly tried to make another snowball. I immediately grabbed a big pile of snow, shaped it into a ball, and tossed it at him, but I missed.

While Joshua continued to pelt me with snowballs, I went over to my car, opened the door, threw his booster seat into the car and grabbed the ergonomically shaped snow scraper so I could clear off my windshield. I was amazed at how accurately he was able to fire the snowballs in my direction as I was dodging each one that he had thrown at me.

“Okay, Josh, we have to get going, get in the car.”

“I’m going to get you…” was all I heard as a snowball smacked into my chest and snowed exploded all over me. That was it, this meant war. I had to clear the snow off of the car and I had to get even with Joshua for bombarding me with snowballs. This seemed like an easy task to accomplish, but it wasn’t because I had to lob snowballs instead of throwing them rapidly at him. My easy going tosses made it easier for Joshua to move out of the way when I let my snowballs fly in his direction.

Joshua continued to attack me with snowballs for the next five minutes while I tried to defend myself and clean off the car. Then like a bolt of lightning, I hatched my plan. I was going to get Joshua into the car and get even with him all at the same time.

I walked over to his car door, opened his door and with one hand, I placed the scraper in position on top of my car and told Josh that we needed to go school. Joshua wasn’t getting into the car because he thought I was going to throw a snowball at him, so I had to show him that I didn’t have any snowballs in my hands.

After Joshua had inspected my hands and the ground around my feet to make sure that he was safe from a snowball attack, he walked over to the car. As he was about to climb into the open door, I moved the scraper quickly across the top of the car and a huge pile of snow landed directly on his head and covered his entire face.

I was frozen with fear for a second because my plan had worked too well. Joshua’s face was completely covered with snow, even his glasses were buried underneath the snow on his face, and Stephanie was watching us from the doorway. This plan had the potential to get me into big trouble. As I looked at where Joshua’s face had been and waited for him to start crying, I noticed a little hole that was starting to develop where his mouth had been just a few moments earlier. Before I knew it, his tongue had pulled a big glob of snow back into his mouth which was immediately followed by Joshua saying, “Mmmmmmm!”

I started to laugh. I had thought he was going to be upset about all of the snow that had just flown into his face and all he was thinking about was a tasty snack of white, puffy snow. I wiped off his face, got him into his booster seat and drove him to pre-school and once we got there, we had another snowball fight. After a few minutes of snowball nirvana, I got Josh cleaned up again and took him into his classroom.

As I was driving to work I realized that my entire outlook on the day had changed. I was in a great mood, I had had fun with my son, and I also realized that what might be considered one man’s misery was another kid’s snack. I had to remind Joshua later on in the day that although snow may seem like a really good winter snack, he had to avoid yellow snow at all costs…

I chuckled to myself as I thought about that day from two years ago. I watched Joshua and Chloe playing in the snow with big smiles on their faces and before I knew it, I hatched a new dastardly plan. I scooped up a huge pile of snow in my shovel and threw it at Joshua. He instantly responded by throwing snow balls at me and grabbing his shovel to throw huge piles of snow at me as well. Chloe, on the other hand, was not impressed with our plan to throw snow at one another.

“That’s a Big no, no, Daddy! Big no, no!” She would say to me as I threw snow at her. It didn’t stop me from throwing snow in her direction but she is two and a half years old, so I guess I can understand why she was so upset.

It is amazing how different people view the world. If I had a penny for every time someone had said to me, “think about it from their point of view” or “If you could walk a mile in their shoes” or “People see the world differently, you just have to accept it,” I would be a very rich man.

But when I think about it from my son’s point of view, snow is a good thing. My entire perspective about snow has not changed, though. I still don’t like to shovel snow but if a snowball fight develops while I am shoveling, I guess I can appreciate the good aspects of winter weather as well. But don’t let all the fun fool you, you must always remind your children of the golden rule of winter; don’t eat the yellow snow!

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4 Responses to Perspective

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

  2. Victor says:

    Nice. Snowball fights rule. I thought for a minute you were going to say you’d white-washed him–the scraper is even better!

  3. Angie says:

    I do not like snowball fights, but love the scraper move! You are lucky he said Mmmmmm.

  4. Angela Polk says:

    Hi Doug,

    As soon as you wrote, “Joshua; snowball; and nefarious grin,” I knew Josh was up to no good. He’s too cute! (LOL) Aww, not his glasses! I smell trouble . . . Nonetheless, I was completely fooled by Josh’s actions – what a great story – “Mmmmmmm!” You have an amazing rapport with your family and it shines through with every story you write. Keep them coming!

    Peace and Blessings,

    P. S. I just wanted to let you know I have a tendency to read something and write about it immediately in that moment before going to the next line of your work. I love the suspense and the surprises.

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