Cannot. Kick. This. Darn. Cold.
I was in the store the other day and it was snowing outside. The woman in front of me was saying how she just wasn't ready for snow....it just snuck up on her. This is the one year that I feel totally ready for snow, and cold, and Christmas. I'm ready for the seasons to change. I don't know why...I mean, this year is going by so much faster than I am really ready for. I think I am, for a few years, going to be measuring the years by the anniversary of Tiny man's death rather than by the coming of January first. I'm not ready for that first anniversary, and it's bearing down on me at an alarming rate. But the coming of winter, somehow, is something I'm welcoming.
I've always enjoyed living in Michigan because of the seasons. I cannot picture living anywhere where there were not four distinct seasons...even though we have the horrible humid summers, the icy and treacherous winters, the long slog through February and March; when the world is one big bucket of cold miserable slush. I love the icy beauty of a January day after it snows six inches and the temperature drops so even the sunlight looks like icicles. I love the fall colors. I adore spring mornings when it's warm and the world is full of smells again. I can't imagine not having all that, even though I'm sure that the passage of a year in other places is amazing in it's own right.
This year I've come to mark the time passage in other ways. I've realized that instead of marking off the months in terms of school...the beginning, parent conferences, Christmas break, winter break, spring break, finals...I'm measuring time by watching Toast grow and change. The first year of life is an amazing thing. He's gone from a lump of poop and cry to a happy little person who changes every day. Some weeks he changes so much it's impossible to list all the new things that have happened. Watching a child develop is so crazy amazing and interesting....it's very difficult to put into words.
Tiny man's development was amazing for what he accomplished, through struggle and hard work. Through determination (ours) and stubbornness (his), he really did meet milestones and grow up. It was fascinating in that we saw all the stages, every little thing that had to come before every other little thing. Toast's development is equally amazing for it's speed, the things that just seem to happen overnight. So different, all so amazing.
I'm also measuring time now by greif and recovery. By measuring how many days I go between the sad days, by how many months I have until I mark a year my Tiny man has been gone. Saying goodbye is not a quick thing at all, it happens for a long time after someone you love is gone. You learn to say goodbye in a million small ways and hope that wherever they are in the universe, they hear you. I hope that the next year I can think of the passage of time in terms of healing, instead of lessoning of greif.