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On Such a Winter’s Day


In September, I remember wondering how we were ever going to survive the winter because Connor loved being outdoors so much.  He really hasn’t been able to go out very much lately, but today provided an excellent opportunity with sunny weather and temps in the mid to upper 40s.  Connor was very excited to go outside again, and knew exactly what we were talking about when Jen told him the plan.  Jen was also excited for Connor to go outside–“He hasn’t been outside since he’s learned how to walk.”  Jen first put Connor in his super heavy winter coat, despite the mild temperatures.  This immediately through off his walking.  Apparently the coat was too heavy for him, making him top heavy and therefore throwing off his balance.  After several minutes, multiple near falls, and a full out face plant into a soft patch of grass, Connor’s heavy coat was finally replaced with a lighter one.  Incredibly, problem solved. 
 
Just like in the summer, Connor was instantly excited to be outside.  At first, he just stood in one place, seemingly taking it all in, quietly looking around at his surroundings and laughing as a cool breeze blew into his face, like Andy Dufresne standing in the middle of the river after escaping from Shawshank Prison.  He was out.  He was free.  He was loving it.  We walked him around to the backyard, where we finally changed his coat, and our friend Dan created a pile of small sticks for Connor.  Jen continued her sentimental ways–“Just think.  This is the first time he’s ever held a stick.  It’s crazy to think about.”  Connor continued playing and re-discovered leaves, crinkling and shredding them with his fingers…before trying to eat them.  At this point, I walked Connor over to some evergreen hedges, letting him feel the texture of the plants.  While there, Connor peered around the hedge and excitedly pointed toward the road–“Da da!”  (Remember, “da da” can be anything that he is excited about.)  I looked.  Connor was pointing toward the cars passing on the road in front of our house.  I smiled.  “C’mon Connor.  Let’s go see the trucks,” I said, remembering that watching the cars was Connor’s favorite activity all summer.  Connor took hold of my hand and together we began walking toward the road.  “Rrrrmm.  Rrrrmm,” Connor growled in his throat, making the sound he makes when he plays with his toy trucks.  We reached the sidewalk in front of our house where Connor stopped, watching as the first car passed, and quietly turning his head to watch it continue down the road before finally letting out a yell of glee.  “Here come some more,” I pointed out from the other direction.  Connor turned to see them approaching.  I looked down to see he was waving at them.  Once they passed, he performed several babbling “victory circles,” as we call them (when Connor quickly walks in a tight circle around the legs of whoever’s hand he is holding).  It was as if nothing had changed between now and August.  I had been bracing myself that those days were over and that Connor had moved on to better things; that gone were the days when Connor would sit on my lap and be fascinated by the passing traffic.  Instead, for the better part of 15 minutes, Connor stood with me next to our front sidewalk, watching and giggling as the cars passed by.  Sure, it was January, and sure, Connor was now walking and waving at the passing cars, but there we were, enjoying the cars and enjoying our time together on a warm winter’s day.  It made me excited for winter to break in a few months.  Connor is, and will be, the same boy.  He will just be so much more fun now.
 

No longer bound to the front porch swing, Connor still enjoys watching the traffic.

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