Waves are lapping all around me as I travel down the road home tonight. Snowy wisps of barely there flakes dancing across the road harmlessly, playfully. They remind me of Caribbean waves pushing sea foam leisurely about on white sand beaches. I absolutely love the snow. The white, the cold, the sparkle. We are so accustomed to it that most people curse it and wish it gone. How many people still just stare in wonder at snow falling from a black night sky?
Will my children feel they way I do? That each flake is a tiny piece of something incredible that we have far too long taken advantage of. Or will they be like so many of us, swatting away flakes as if they were irritating flies and sighing in disgust as it gathers in drifts? Why, in the dead of winter when all life is brown and naked and lifeless, can we not see the beauty in a blanket of soft white snow? Or, even better, a world covered in crystal ice, creating beautiful arches of sparkling sun as the weight bends branches to their limit, and they bow endlessly to the snow covered grounds. All the beauty winter in New England has to offer. Will they even notice?
I struggle with the fact that I can not change the world, or think for my children. I know I can only guide them as best I am able, to be as true to themselves and to believe that the good in life will always outweigh the bad. But in a world where we are ruled by wireless paths of socialization, will they pick their heads up long enough from their personal devices (here I picture miniature tablets that act as a phone, television, computer, personal assistant, GPS, friend, mother etc) to see everything that has always been? Or are we too concerned with what we have yet to have?
I made a difficult decision recently. My husband and I decided to eliminate cable from our life. This is equivalent to me losing a dear friend, a late night companion, and an occasional (very short term) babysitter.
The truth is that I am scared. Scared I won't be able to give my children all they deserve. Scared I won't raise them to appreciate, and love a snowstorm, a crackling fire, a soft summer night, the colors of the fall leaves or the warmth of a hug. How will they define beauty in their world? In the glow of a sunset, signaling the day's end, or in the chrome reflection of some new technology I am not even capable of imaging?
Change in good, I try to believe this. However I do not want my children robbed of all the things that will never change. The seasons and all they have to offer. Watching life pulse back into the world in the spring, blankets of green grass and leaves so thick they create a wall around our home. Flowers and butterflies so beautiful and so brief its difficult to picture them once they are gone. Snow so deep and white it hides the ground for months, and then it becomes unrecognizable with life. And of course, watching my babies grow and experience all these things for themselves the first, second and third time.
30 years later, I am happy to be still inspired by the birth of a snowstorm. My one great hope is that as their mother, I will have influenced them enough to feel the same.