Yesterday when I picked Katie up from preschool it was a bone-chilling 8 degrees with a half inch dust of snow covering the parking lot. Although I carried her in to school earlier to save her a morning of chilly wet feet, I let her crunch through the snow on the way to the car. Because the parking lot was practically empty there were fresh untouched piles everywhere and as she picked up the pace I knew they wouldn’t stay that way for long.
Clad only in her Nike tennis shoes, in the morning rush I’d forgotten her boots, she began to stomp. When we got to the car I could see she wasn’t done with her mission to mark our little corner of the parking lot with tiny footprints. Not a fan of the cold myself, my first inclination was to follow the lead of all the other chilly mamas and hurry her in to the van but then it hit me, the thing that hits me me frequently since her diagnosis in 2006, live in the moment and enjoy each one you have.
As cars drove past us leaving the school for warmer destinations, Katie and I snugged down our jackets and shuffled through the snow making happy faces, figure 8’s and other icy abstract patterns. When a very crimson-cheeked Katie finally announced she was cold and ready to leave, I drove out of the parking lot looking at our fancy footwork and thinking we’d left it looking just as silly and happy as we felt. A day later I’m still thinking about how giddy she was and how all the other mothers must have thought we were crazy and I’m glad I slowed down to enjoy it.