I would like to take the opportunity to discuss a time in my life where things were much simpler. As children we are expected to flourish and find our fingers fumbling against every thing we can fit inside of them.
Winter is nothing to a child, even amongst the cruelest winds children find wonder in anything they can fit within their fingers. We were no different and as young adults, we often found ourselves wondering anywhere but home. My siblings and I were to the stage in life where instead of fighting over toys, we were fighting over feelings One winter day sticks out in my mind. It’s a beautiful day in December I still think back to often.
The meeting point was the woods between our three-bedroom house and the middle school towards the center of town. My oldest brother Theodore carved a square into the front of the tree so that we would always be sure we were in the right place. This particular day was extremely cold and the winds were torrential against our young faces. After gathering around the tree, I remember Theodore falling into his normal formation: at the front of the line. Zach followed behind Theodore, and Tyler behind Zach, and I stood in the very back(always desperate to keep up). I remember all of them remaining so quiet that I found myself fixated on the sounds of the woods.
When we reached the center where a clearing presented itself we took a moment to sit. This clearing was where Theodore would smoke a cigarette so that he would not have to sneak out around our parents. The three of us would sit and stare at the ground waiting for him to finish, resentful of being forced to stop in the cold. I looked up several times and attempted to make amusing faces at all of them but no one seemed to be in the mood for lightening up. It was after a few more failed attempts that Theodore was finally done with his cigarette and after her buried it in the snow he turned to us and said:
“Would you all hurry up? Why do you want to stand around in the cold?”
Tyler was upset with this and immediately began badgering Theodore, “You are the reason we are standing out here! You’re the reason we are miserable!”
Theodore smiled and began leaning down and piling snow in his hands. “And you know what?”
Tyler sighed and let out a heavy, “What?”
“It’s about to get a lot more miserable!” That is when he cranked his arm backward and hurled the snow at Tyler. It smacked him right in the face. My eyes widened and I attentively awaited Tyler’s response, fearful that a much larger altercation was about to happen. I was pleasantly surprised when Zach came adjacent to Theodore and returned a similar chunk of snow at his face. I saw ‘chunk of snow’ because at this point, none of us were going to take the time to craft a snowball.
Throwing, diving down, and running… It felt as if it lasted forever! I was s0 excited that my siblings let go of their stresses and we all were playing together. The cold didn’t even seem so bad anymore. We were still children, but as we hit secondary school it seemed as if everyone was too excited to grow up and forgot how to play in the snow. This day continues to remind me every winter of the joy of playing outside and more so the precious memories of playing with your siblings on cold winter days. Don’t ever forget your brothers and sisters are your first friends!