Most people would probably say that winter in South Bend, IN is miserable. Just miserable. This winter has definitely been a doozy, and I will admit that I often joke with Chris that the most effective way of making me be a leeeetle more serious about discerning the spacing and number of our bambinos is putting children into a car during a blistering cold winter day. Nevertheless, I really don't mind winters in this city that has quite a close relationship with the lake effect. The freezing spells help me to slow down with the two bambinos that we already have.
I love having cold weather babies. That's what I always told people when I would share that Conor was due at the end of October. Of course, maybe I would be singing a different tune if I knew anything other than bundling up newborns and if I weren't mostly an introvert, but ... that doesn't look like it will be happening soon.
The winter gave me the perfect time to ease into motherhood when Ryan was born. I wasn't a paranoid first time mom, but at the same time, I was by no means a completely confident one. Oh, I was so anxious! What if I have to nurse? Would anyone care that I'm nursing? What if my baby gets hungry at the grocery store? What if my baby cries? I have nothing to wear that fits! I haven't showered!
Winter brought me more reprieve from those nagging and oh-so-silly questions, or at least it made them less frequent. I needed that time to stay in our little apartment with no guilt from not leaving home, and I needed get to know that little baby and get to know myself as a mother. Becoming a parent to a sweetly and innocently squawking newborn has a steep learning curve, but the snow drifts made the climb a leisurely one. By the time the sun started to shine in the spring, I had found my mom legs.
This morning on this fun yet frigid snow day when we are very fortunate and blessed to have food, shelter and warmth, Chris took Ryan upstairs, and I just got to coo and cuddle with Conor. I loved it.
We hope to be here for a while so there really is no use for me to dread and detest the winters because who wants to spend the energy preemptively shivering at the thought of spending a third of the foreseeable future in misery? I choose to see the wonder in this winter pushing me to read to Ryan (and Conor since we are pretty inseparable) under a blanket for hours rather than getting ready to get ready to leave the house, actually getting ready to leave the house, and then rushing from place to place. Even a lover of family time like myself needs Jack Frost to force some family time. It's another older child privilege for Ryan and Conor that I am clinging to. Someday winter won't be able to give us a reprieve from obligations like school and basketball practice and the like so these mornings of cuddling and reading the latest library find for the 777th time are just fine with me.
Being an introvert might not help me at parties, but it does make winter a bit warmer.