Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow: A Lesson in Temporal Beauty

“Where’s my Frosty ?!?” I heard my three-year-old exclaim on Sunday morning, as she went downstairs for breakfast and looked out the back door.

We had had a blizzard the previous weekend, which left behind a record 26.3 inches of snow here on Long Island. The first day it was too dry to make a snowman and the older kids had spent much of the day making trails in the snow for her to walk through. By the third day, there was enough moisture for them to make large snowmen and even a snow bunny. My three-year-old had proudly put the finishing touches on the bunny, adding a purple scarf for it to stay “warm”.

After one week of white beauty, it rained – and rained – and rained – enough for most of all that snow to be washed away. All that was left of the snow creatures were sad little piles of hats and scarves; a carrot; and caps for dishwashing liquid that had served as green “eyes”.

The kids explained to her that Frosty had melted but that it would snow again soon and he would “come back to life someday”.

“IT’S…NOT…FAIR!” she screeched, so that I could hear her from the opposite end of the house upstairs.

When I came back downstairs, I tried again to explain it to her. “The things of this world fade away,” I quoted to the older children, which of course went over her head.

It’s a lesson that children quickly learn; one that can leave them feeling disenchanted, depending on how their parents handle it.

[Here my eleven-year-old hops on my computer and inserts what she thinks my thoughts must be. I leave it because I find it extremely amusing.] I think that it should snow when I want it to snow so I can be happy and have my children not messing the house around so it would be clean and peaceful. Until they come in the house again ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it is messy again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Here my twelve-year-old takes a hold of my keyboard and, like her younger sister, comes frighteningly close to the truth of how I feel.] Although the kids mess up the house when they come in from the snow, the peacefulness that I experience when they are out of the house is beyond amazing. Therefore I wish that it would snow anytime I wanted it to. I think that it should be impossible for the snow to come in the house, and then this world would be perfect! Oh yes, and one more addition. That the snow “creations” never melt so that I won’t have to ever hear that snow melting is not fair ever again!!!!!! [Children’s insertions end here.]

Knowing that the world is imperfect, we can find beauty in nature and admire its Creator, knowing that what He has planned for us in everlasting life is way beyond the glimpse He offers us here. We can show our children this, by praising the beauty given us, and letting them know that, although it does not last here on earth, there is a greater beauty beyond our imagination that will go on and on. Snow that does not melt and yet does not make us cold. Leaves that change color and yet do not die and fall to the ground. Greenery that does not make us sneeze and our eyes water.

The stability of the family the child grows up in is yet another glimpse for them into the security of God’s love. As parents we cannot be the perfect Father that God is, but we can give them our unconditional love; the comfort they need as they discover the pain that is inevitable in this world; and the nurturing of their childlike wonder that we should try our best to emulate.

5 comments:

Karen said...

I loved your daughters' commentary. I suspect my eight year old would be in total agreement with them. We have a fresh blanket of snow here in NJ (ugh!). Perhaps I'll let my kids to and roll around in the snow today and not complain about the mess. The mess of snow in the house is what I like the least about the frosty precipitation.

Daily Grace said...

I love your comment on the stability of the family the child grows up in.....I hear the stability and wisdom that only comes from God's love, your children and family are blessed!

Loved this post :)

Loren Christie said...

Someday the kids are going to look back and remember how mommy slipped wise faith teachings into even in the most ordinary of situations. Great post!

Vanessa Rogers said...

Your daughters' comments are adorable and thoughtful. Sounds like a fun experience.

the booklady said...

Elizabeth,

Your daughters sound so much like mine used to--and still do on rare occasions when they slip back to younger versions of themselves--it almost pains me. Enjoy them! I know you do; I can tell from the way you chronicle their adventures. (Sigh) The sweet years of childhood pass far too quickly! God bless you and yours!

p.s. Make a snow angel for me! ^j^