Parents, today and yesterday, have to cope with the everyday, mundane things of life. Even on snow days, my Dad would shovel the driveway and trudge off to work. Divorced parents today must coordinate the holiday visitation schedules. They must decide how to accommodate the two sets of grandparents into that schedule. Some have transportation issues to work out.
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. My parents, who now live in North Carolina, might say, “The winters were brutal.” My brother and sister and I would probably say, “The winters were magical.” For us, the winters were full of unexpected surprises. We might wake up on a mid-November morning and our front yard, which had been there just yesterday, was now covered with six inches of powdery fun. And, to make it even more magical, school was cancelled. You must understand, they did not cancel school because of morning fog or a mere dusting of snow. It had to be deep. And that made the snow day perfect. Out came the sleds and we were gone. My mother would not see us for hours. No cell phones back then. We careened down the hills at Normanside. We built snow caves and we skated on the frozen pond.
And then in December, we had the biggest surprise of all . . . Christmas. I sang in the church choir. Go ahead and giggle. On Christmas Eve we would sing with the adult choir at the 11:00 pm service. It was a big church with lots of voices in the choir. I remember at least two years ending the service with a candle-lit acapella version of Silent Night. We left the church to find it had snowed during the service bringing that hush to the night that only snow can do. Now that is magic.
Parents of today probably ignored all the magic talk and were horrified. Snow caves? Skating on a frozen pond? No cells (oh, the humanity!)?? That has disaster written all over it. Our parents weren’t bad or inattentive parents. The times were just different then.
At Irvine Law Firm, we usually see a spike in calls about child custody and visitation in anticipation of the holiday season. As a parenting coordinator, I too see an increase in conflicts that need a quick and effective resolution.
As we adults slog through the mundane issues of schedules, transportation and shoveling the driveways of our modern lives, let us not forget that this is magic time for our children. Let the mystery and hope of the season fill your hearts, if only for the sake of your children. You are creating memories for them. Let those memories be memories of magic, mystery and wonder.