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New eyes

“Daddy? It’s snowing!”

“It is? Cool!”

Is the subtle lilt in my voice too subtle–or have I fooled her? I’m sick of this winter. Enough already.

“And we can go play in it!”

This isn’t really a statement. It’s a question, a test of my true commitment to the coolness happening outside.

“Maybe later. Right now we need to clean up.”

“Yeah. And then we can go outside and play in it!”

I didn’t always hate snow. Before, when there was time. There was a time when I felt just as excited as she does at 4, waiting to jump and dive and slide in the fresh, soft, clean powder.

But I turned a corner somewhere back there, and I can’t find my way back. Maybe you can go back. I’d like to try.

I don’t know the moment when play stopped being my work, but it wasn’t so long ago. I may notice more now–others, the world, myself. But what else do I miss?

It’s been a long winter. A little warmth and sun would be so nice. But if I could just remember how I used to see, through her eyes, that would be enough for now.

Look outside with a different set of eyes today. Things are rarely what they seem.

10 Responses to “New eyes”

  1. Do you really wanna go back? Because if you do, just close your eyes and click your heels together three times and say, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
    It’s not really a joke, y’know. The thing is, you’ve got to give up something, put something down. It stops being fun when you pick up things you’re not supposed to.
    Winter can be just as beautiful as summer, all a matter of perspective. Steaming coffee, wood fires, snow falling and forcing us to stay in and… and what? Deal with things?
    Life’s tough. Grab some carrots and build that cute thing of yours the best snowman she’s ever seen.

  2. And don’t forget the snowman’s hat. It’s a cold world out there; the warmth of family makes it seem less so.
    You’re a good man, Mick.

  3. The wonder of life through a child’s eyes. Such a very good thing. I recently babysat a friend’s eight-month-old son and wrote a bit on my blog about what he taught me. If I hadn’t wanted to practice with my camera I probably would have missed it entirely.
    “Things are rarely what they seem.” This is also why I like to occasionally grab a pencil and sketch pad and slow down long enough to let my eyes and then pencil follow lines and try to capture the nuances of light and shadow.
    Beauty is everywhere. Children welcome it, but grownups tend to shovel it out of the way to get on with life. Thanks for the reminder to look and learn.

  4. I had the same conversation with my husband a couple of weeks ago. I played the part of your daughter.

  5. Ron Estrada says:

    I was actually whining as my son dragged me out to go sledding Saturday. And then, of course, I had a blast. Mine are 11 and 13. I wonder if, seven winters from now, I’ll look outside and long for someone to grab my arm and say, “Let’s go Dad!”

  6. L.L. Barkat says:

    I’m with Ron. Saying yes is the first step to recovering a time long lost. What a crazy child I discover in me, when I get on the sled and push off.

  7. Gina says:

    After I spend 20 minutes bundling all my kids up to play in the snow all I want to do is take a nap!

  8. You’re halfway there just because you asked the question…

  9. Mick,
    It is often the men on the front lines – the ones sitting in muddy trenches eating C-rations – who have the most difficult time understanding what they’re doing there. Nobody likes to be cold. Or hungry. Or lonely.
    If only they could see the war from the general’s perspective. He sees that the few fighting the first wave are making the way for the reinforcements coming up from the rear.
    They are coming. I promise. Stay the course.
    I’d take one soldier with passion over 99 without ambition any day of the week.
    So would God.

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