Jocelyn and Angelo came with me on a hike yesterday. Sort of. They went one way and I went the other way. They chased each other with snowballs for the full two-mile loop and by the time we met back in the parking lot, they were both pink-faced and drenched in the specific wetness that comes from being pelted, repeatedly, with snowballs.
It must have been quite a workout because even though it was cold, they both had their jackets tied around their waists and were fanning themselves as they got into the car. They were breathless and their hot faces reflected pure joy.
They share a special bond. Jocelyn is 17 and five years older than Angelo. From an early age, Angelo insisted on spending time with Jocelyn, clearly stating, “I hate Mommy and Daddy! I only love Joce!” I suppose I should be embarrassed that my kid said he hated me, but the moment filled (and fills) me with absurd pride. I’ve always loved watching them interact.
As we drove home, they “argued” about who won the snowball fight. By all appearances, it looked like a draw. They both had several pancake-shaped wet marks on their clothes. It dawned on me that I truly didn’t (and don’t) know who won.
Was it really a draw? Did Jocelyn throw the fight? I don’t think she did.
My thoughts were interrupted when I noticed my car shaking. I looked at my speedometer. I was going 80 in a 55 mph zone. Country roads, amirite? I gently braked and set the cruise control to 55.
“Sorry about that,” I said. “I wasn’t paying attention. Remember, cruise control is your friend.”
I always apologize when I make a driving mistake in front of my kids. It’s part of how I train them to become safe drivers and embrace accountability. But sometimes I talk too much.
“I’m just excited to get home and wash my mushroom,” I added quite unnecessarily. “But that’s still no excuse for speeding.”
It’s true: I had found an artist conk in the woods and I was excited to get it home. I am absolutely that nerdy. But that wasn’t why I was speeding.
I was speeding because I was obsessing over their snowball fight. Even though we hiked in separate directions, I heard them shouting and laughing for most of the hour we were apart.
It occurs to me now that snowball fights don’t have winners and losers. I’ve never seen anyone come in from a snowball fight anything other than happy. As I reflect on the snowball fights of my youth, I remember them with warmth and fondness. Of course, I am sure there are people out there who have had terrible experiences with snowball fights. Got bullied, bruised and traumatized. I hate that but for the most part, I am pro-snowball fights, even in April.
Thanks for reading! Time to go dry off my mushroom! -Connie