on a snow-falling day

Gabe Snowball fight

The snow outside is thick and wet enough that the snowballs have that certain elegant sting when packed right. Press too hard during construction and they can hurt, so it’s important to prepare your ammunition before the heat of battle and sequester them in a decent hidey-hole, where your adversary can’t get to them but they’re readily available for launching along that gliding arc to hopefully land somewhere besides your opponent’s face. In this case, my opponent is my 8 year old and he battled with the urgency that only a person in his age range can muster; every throw was deadly, and every hit taken was merely a glancing blow in this life or death contest of fortitude.

When we got back inside, we were ready for the peace accords and bound by the holy nature of the hot chocolate ritual (in my house, whipped cream AND marshmallows are important elements if the agreement is to be taken seriously) we settled down to a short nap in front of the window, where we could both watch the still-falling snow erase the record of our conflict.

How wonderful would it be if we could carry this childlike nature into our dealings with others? Invest fully in trying to win when the setting calls for such behavior, but also in trying to not hurt each other, and to making sure the “other” is taken care of post conflict. The greatest difference between adults and children seems to be pride borne of expectation. We are none of us any more capable, really, than we were at the age of 8. And that’s a beautiful thing.