Before you have kids, you can’t even begin to imagine how they will affect your world. The birth of my son opened up an entirely new world full of endless wonder and surprises—and as saccharine as that might sound, I wholeheartedly recommend trying to embrace that world as often as possible, as it can result in some amazing memories.
One winter, while living in Boston, I decided to take my son Kaden to a film festival in Rhode Island. I bought the tickets and planned on spending a Saturday while watching lots of quirky film shorts and selfishly hoping my love of film would be somehow absorbed by him.
Being New England, we got a huge snowstorm the night before the festival and we awoke to a few feet of snow. Lots of businesses were shut down and I was no longer so sure about making the trip to Rhode Island.
I realized there was a train which ran right into the city and quickly decided we would throw caution to the wind and take a train instead. When I think back, it was probably influenced by Kaden’s love of trains and I knew it would not be a hard sell to get him to take a train ride.
The train trip was uneventful and I was a little nervous about what to expect when we got to the train station in Rhode Island. I was already pretty bad with directions, and we would have to find our way to the venue relying solely on my shaky navigation skills.
We got to the station and exited the train, I realized I was in over my head—or at least my knees, because that’s how high the snow was—even in the streets, as they hadn’t yet been plowed. I looked over at Kaden and nonplussed as always, he had no problem with the fact that the entire street was covered in snow that almost reached his waist.
I asked what we thought we should do, and he replied, “We should go to the film festival. Uh, why not?”
I told myself as long as we weren’t in any danger, we might as well try to walk through a couple of feet of snow—in a place I had never been, with not a single soul in sight—because why the heck not? I really had no other option other than to head home, and that was just silly.
I reluctantly took off my gloves and tried to access a map on my phone that at least we could try to follow on foot. As I headed in what I thought was the right direction, Kaden followed and we started trekking through the snowdrifts.
Once we had walked for a bit, I realized there was no one else out in the streets: everyone was inside waiting for the plows and we were the only people out in this frigid and windy weather. It started to snow, and I chuckled to myself at that point, and thought how crazy we probably looked as we trudged through the streets. It was very, very quiet, and a bit surreal.
There was definitely a point when I began to question myself and my directions, which usually results in me taking it out on whomever is near me. That being Kaden, I am sure I told him to walk faster, or to make sure he didn’t fall into snowdrift nearby.
But he was in the moment, with no idea that his mom was second guessing herself the whole time, he thought it was perfectly fine to be wandering through another state on foot, looking for the place to watch some artsy films he had never ever heard of. He even marched ahead and called it an adventure at one point, and we laughed and tried to imagine how silly we looked to anyone looking out their window.
When I saw what I thought was the right building, I breathed a sigh of relief and tried to compose myself as best as I could. We were covered in snow, pretty wet and cold (at least I was) and Kaden just enjoyed himself and oblvious that he was one big icicle. Just as I went to open the door, a woman behind a table looked up and a look of surprise and joy came over her face as she said “Look! Someone actually came!!”
I turned to look behind me and I realized she meant us—we were the only ones who had walked through the snow to get there—and they had been waiting and wondering if anyone would show. Right then, I realized I had let myself be part of Kaden’s world of adventure and if I had turned around and went home, we would never have experienced this moment in time, where a mom and her kid walked through a blizzard to a film festival because… why not?
We ended up having a great day and I think it made the movies that much more enjoyable, thinking about our little trip to get there. Taking the train home that night, I was grateful for being able to experience a day where I wasn’t “the (most) responsible mom” and guess what—it all turned out okay. In fact, it turned out pretty awesome.
Featured Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Blum via Unsplash