Isn’t it funny how a similar situation years from then can be so different? That is the magic of time. How things change. And your perspective can too.
Tonight, we returned from Tractor Supply, racing against time before the sun went down as we had promised the boys they could play in the snow when we got home. I guided the boy gang in the house as Joe took the items from the truck and put them away. I helped both boys suit up into their winter wear, chuckling as Linc’s movements resembled that of the kid on the movie, the Christmas Story, in his snow gear. Ten minutes later, 100% waterproof, and prepared for the elements they believed to be freezing at 30 degrees, they enthusiastically made their way to the front yard with a plan to make a snowman.
Joe and I quickly set up the new dog house, filled it with straw and spread the remaining straw over the mud in the backyard where Brik has ripped the grass from the yard in his daily sprints out the door to try to catch the mythical woodland creatures he thinks he will one day capture.
I made my way to the front yard to find Joe building a snowman with the boys. He was forming the base of the snowman with care while explaining to the boys how to each work on their portion of the snowman. Even though I wasn’t quite dressed for it, I joined them. Wade and Joe worked together to join the base and the middle of the snowman as we all encouraged Linc to stop talking about work and actually make a snowball head. I worked on one as well, because let’s face it we may need a spare.
I pulled out the snowman kit my dad gave us the year before and put the finishing touches on our odd looking snowman that was formed like any group project, with not everyone quiet pulling their weight. But there it was. Done. Made together as a family with love. And the boys were happy.
I couldn’t help but thing about how I tried to build a snowman with the boys in December of 2018. A year and a half after becoming a full time mom and 9 months after we lost Jake. The boys were 4 and 5. We had all been through so much that year and I was determined to be that supermom, not the grieving mom, playing with the boys in the snow. I lacked patience, the boys lacked focus, and it was well, a complete joke. They were frustrated, I was frustrated, the snow didn’t seem to cooperate or maybe it was our hearts not cooperating but we eventually gave up and Linc kicked apart any progress we had made.
Two years later, we are a different family. We have healed some. The boys have matured. I feel somewhat more confident in my parenting. And our family has grown. Joe and his son are a treasured part of our family. Now I have to be realistic for a moment. Joe and I were dressed for a Tractor Supply run, not a snowman excursion. We were cold. It was now dark. And we were a bit frustrated with how Wade believed it would take us days to complete the snowman and Linc had somehow promoted himself to supervisor instead of laborer in the process.
However, my heart was full. This amazing man standing before me has stepped into a big role for these boys and he has done it without any hesitation. He worked cold and patiently with the boys to build a snowman that frankly neither one of us wanted to build. Two years ago, I sat in the snow with tears in my eyes wondering where our life would take us and how things would every seem right again.
I love this man, the role he plays, and we are so blessed to be a blended family.