Dear Beautiful Girl-
This very minute, I’m meant to be holed up in a schmancy hotel room with your daddo, watching the ocean from a whirlpool tub and celebrating our third anniversary. But this year the snow, my old ally and friend and great love snow, seems to have turned on me and arranged to muck up only the weekends I have travel plans. So, instead, I’m in our old orange chair in the living room, and you are in your bed instead of spoiled and snuggled up at Camp Grandpa & Grandma, and we are hunkered down until the city calms and the snow melts and things get back to normal.
Tonight would have been the very first night that you and I have been apart in 15, or really, 24 months. I prepared and planned and dreaded and longed for this night. But it’s snowing, and you and your daddo and I are here together.
I’ll tell you something true: I’m not always the best at dealing with disappointment. I like things to happen as planned, and when I’m feeling particularly excited and anxious about an event that doesn’t come through, I sometimes find myself feeling really, really sad. I cried a lot, yesterday, over the loss of a few days in a hotel and the chance to sleep past 6AM. I cried about those things, sitting in my warm house with my beautiful girl and my wonderful husband and my incredible friends who babysit and clean things while outside, storms brewed and snow flurried and a thousand frozen fingers gathered over trash can fires, and someone somewhere cried over the child they’ll never see again, and someone else got a horrible call that ended a job, a season, a marriage, a life. I cried about my whirlpool tub, and then I cried about feeling ridiculous and selfish for crying about my whirlpool tub, and then I cried a little more just because I’d gotten good and going at that point and why the hell not.
And all the while, it snowed. It snowed and it snowed and it snowed.
The thing about snow is that no matter how desperately I want to hate it, it’s just… beautiful. It covers over everything imperfect, drowns out our noise, layers our ugliness under this glittering, frozen peace. It’s lovely, snow, for all its plan ruining and destruction and pain. It’s wonderful to look at. It’s beautiful stuff.
We had a rough day, yesterday, a disappointing and frustrating and guilt-ridden day.
But before you went to sleep, we danced around your button rug, you and I. We danced and I held you and your hair smelled like pancakes, and our dancing covered over everything imperfect, drowned out our noise, and layered my brokenness with peace. Because being your mother is the thing that peels back the strongholds in me, reveals the dark spaces, highlights the areas where I most need to grow, and because being your mother is also the thing that reminds me how very big love is, how there is room for my sadness, even when it feels shallow, and still room for gratitude in the very same dance. Because I am only me, here learning how best to love you, and we are only us.
And tonight, I am in the orange chair, and you are in your bed smelling like pancakes, and all will be well.
Let it snow.