Here in Washington, we mostly keep snow on the mountains (where it belongs). But since we don’t actually live on a mountain, this is a very unpopular policy with the younger set.
Some years, a whole winter can go by without any decent snow accumulation. I’m sure this winter, there are many from the East and Midwest who would gladly trade places with us. Snow seems to be one of those things that fall in to the ‘feast or famine’ category — you either don’t get enough, or you receive a surfeit. Also, when we do finally get some snow, it often falls on a Sunday morning, when we are in church. It is not unusual for it all to melt away by the time we get home.
David and Sarah are huge fans of the snow. Whenever we get a few flakes, they run outside and try to catch them on their tongues, giddy with the excitement. This morning, they were outside at 8 am, making a snowman.
Last night the snow started around 6 pm, and by 11 we had about 2 inches. About 10 pm, Daniel called his buddy, Jake, and soon they had a plan.
“May I go over to Jake’s house to play in the snow?” he asked me. Jake has a big hill on his street.
“Sure,” I told him. “But I’m not driving you. It is pretty late … ”
Stubbornness runs deep in our blood, from both sides of the family. Failing to persuade Rachel to drive him (her car was slipping all over the road) Daniel walked almost 2 miles to his friend’s house.
“Be home before midnight,” I told him, knowing he’d barely have time to get there and back.
At 11:45, he called me. “Um, it took me longer to get here than I thought … can I spend the night here?”
Daniel is a very honest boy. We don’t always get along perfectly, but it is a delight to me that he will rarely lie when asked a direct question. “This is all part of your scam, to spend the night at Jake’s,” I accused. He had been wanting to spend the night at his friend’s house for several days, but I had refused permission, because Daniel is still sick.
“No, but it is pretty cold, and I’m pretty tired … ”
I tried to believe him. “Come on home, stop arguing with me.” I reiterated. Relenting a millimeter, I continued. “If you take too long, I’ll come out and look for you.”
Did I mention that stubbornness is part of our family’s genetic makeup? I decided that if he wanted to make the decision to walk 2 miles in the snow at 10:30 pm to spend 15 minutes sledding with a friend, he might as well pay the full price of that decision. We try not to always rescue our children from the consequences of their choices.
At 12:30 am, he still wasn’t home. I got in my little Honda, and slithered my way over to his friend’s neighborhood (but not down their steep hill). No Daniel. Coming home, I found him on an alternate street, less than halfway home.
“You didn’t get very far,” I remarked as he tossed his sled into the back seat.
I found out later he would rather have walked all the way home — the snow was very peaceful. Parenting a sixteen-year-old is tricky, and being parented by a 48-year-old is even trickier. I always find it challenging, to avoid exasperating my children.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. — Ephesians 6:4
I am thankful for a son who continues to submit himself to my authority, even though he is sixteen, and six foot three. I often make him angry, yet he does not defy my authority.
When I was sixteen, I was a much more rebellious and difficult boy. I routinely disobeyed my parents and spoke very disrespectfully to them. I used to joke that my parents were praying for justice, all those years, and that I was finally getting my fair due — but Daniel is actually a much better son to me than I was to my parents. Daniel and I are working out our relationship as father and son, both of us making it up as we go along. I am so thankful for him.
Several of these pictures were brought to you by David, with his swanky new camera.