We are still in the middle of winter. I guess it’s only after coming to America that the weather has become a constant companion. When I step out, I always make sure I check the AccuWeather app, something that I never did in India. I only had to check outside the window to determine if it was safe to step outside or not. If it’s windy and cold, I’ll have to bundle up my toddler into layers. Thermals, jacket, hat, gloves, socks, boots. The same goes for me. I have a large carton that I use to store warm clothes. Once spring arrives, which is a long way to go, I will pile up all the winter clothes, hoping I won’t have to pick them up for a long time.
On this side of America, where I live now can get cold to 0 degrees in Celsius which now I have learned to track in Fahrenheit as well. Though it’s not my first winter, I complain and lament about this dark and moody weather to every person that I meet. It somehow finds its way into everyday conversations with my Uber driver, my neighbors or my family. But by the end of January or early February, I am usually not complaining much because by then I have realized that the weather switch is not in my control and I might as well learn to live with it.
Back in India, I muse about my days in sun, missing the warm rays falling on my skin. Now, however, my friends from India tell that the rays are scorching. Still, I feel it must be good to sweat than being loaded up in sweaters and jackets all the time for six months together. I feel that my connection with the sun has become special after coming here. Because I only get to feel the sun for five months or so, I have come to hold a special corner for the sun in my heart.
While I deal with winter through a different perspective (complaining and lamenting and finally, admitting that I can’t do anything about it), it’s my son’s attitude towards the wintry mix that surprises me the most.
Yesterday, we were out in the snow because there is only so much you can do indoors. And there are times when being inside the walls of the house, we drive each other crazy that can end in fist fights. Not a pretty sight! So, like a sensible woman, I dress my son in snow pants and the many endless accessories designed to keep him warm. I dress up as well and before I can lock my door, my son is already near the entrance dragging his dump truck along.
Outside, it’s near to 3 or 4 degrees which is actually not bad because that is the warmest it can get on most days. Besides, the weather has a way of making you strong. It puts you into really bad temperatures on some days that even a slight rise can seem bearable. Still, it was considered a great day to be outside because there was no wind and the sun was playing peek-a-boo.
Veeeee, veeeeee, veeeeee. My toddler is busy scooping ice into his bright yellow truck and emptying it. This goes on for twenty minutes. And I begin to feel the cold seeping into my fingers and bones even though I am dressed appropriately. I curse under my breath and yell at my son to get inside because I am not enjoying the weather anymore and all I want is a cup of hot tea hugging my hands.
But this is so much fun. Don’t be a spoil sport, please. He seemed to be saying. But what he actually did was to ignore me as long as he could and enjoy his game of climbing and sliding on the snow.
Unlike me, who is constantly looking at the calendar hoping for April to roll by quickly, so I can enjoy the sun in May, my four-year-old isn’t bothered by the seasonal changes. He knows to adapt because he knows how to make the most of it. Because, by the end of the day, be it warm or cold, it’s having fun that matters.
May be, I should try joining him in the snow one of these days and see for myself because with every coming season, this won’t last forever as well.