We rushed out the door like we do every weekday morning since mid-August. But this day was drastically different.
“Ohhhhhhhhh, it’s cold,” my 6-year-old says in a half-surprised/half whiny voice. “I don’t want to be coooooold.” It was just days ago we were wearing shorts in the morning and mocking my demand that they wear a jacket, which they usually respond to by making a cape out of it (put on hood, no arms — presto!).
But today, as we walked up to the front gates of the school, I answer their cries by zipping them up so far that you can only see half their faces, pulling their jackets over their ears and covering their practically frost-bitten hands with their sleeves. I mean, come on, what kind of school doesn’t cancel classes on a day like today?
I tried to distract them with my charm and humor but my boys were less than impressed with my abilities to make smoke rings with the air from my mouth. I didn’t dare tell them my up-hill-both-ways tales or how one time, while delivering 50+ newspapers in freezing temps, my hand-me-down Levis actually stuck to the fence I was jumping over, ripping the pants wide open at the seam running down my leg.
Today, I let them have their bitter cold, bone chilling day for their childhood memories. But at some point, these kids are going to have to toughen up and experience life the way I did, even if just for a day or two.
If I can’t do it for them, I can at least do it for their future wives.