I had the perfect plan to deal with today’s insane cold. I purchased thermals to cover me from head to toe under my outfit, even silk liners to put in my gloves. I covered myself with coconut oil to protect my skin from the dry bite, put the oil in my locs and then twisted them up and covered them up. I made sure my warmest sweater was clean and available, my infinity scarf extra fluffy. I was ready for today.
What I wasn’t counting on was Ursa Major leaving all of his snow/cold gear at school yesterday afternoon.
“[Major] left his snow bag in the bus line! I’ve got everything!” His teacher emailed me.
He was so sad when he got off the bus. “Are you mad at me?”
“No, baby.” No time to be angry. Had to think about logistics. He’d left his snow pants, his new boots, his good gloves and his hat in that bag. All of the stuff I was depending on to keep him warm while waiting for the bus. Of course, of course, of course!
The school district had a one-hour delay today, which allowed time for the sun to come up and for the winds to die down. Still, it was single-digits here in MetroWest this morning while I was getting myself geared up for the day to come. I baked the boys muffins, got them up and dressed, put on some cartoons for them to enjoy, and started contemplating how to keep the child warm while waiting to get on the bus. Was I really going to have to warm up this car, drive him down the driveway, transfer him from a hot car to a hot bus… and then back on up the driveway? It just seemed so stupid and wasteful…
That’s when I got a text from a friend. “Dropping off a little something in 5 minutes!”
My Quiet Thoughts today are about how little thoughts and little pieces can create a mighty, wonderful whole. My friend, another southern ex-pat raising New England children, is trying to teach me how to embrace the winter. As a fun little gift, she and her daughter came up my driveway with a bag full of hand and toe warmers. “You still have to get the kids out and running around in the winter,” my friend explained. “These will make sure that you stay warm while they are out playing!”
We laughed together for a few minutes and then they were on their way to other merry adventures, having absolutely no idea what a big help they’d just handed to me. When I got back to getting Major ready for the cold, I was able to find the (thin, but workable) back-up gloves his grandmother had got him last winter. To replace his hat and bulk up his coat, I found a jacket that another dear friend had given me. A blue jacket lined with extra warm and fuzzy material, a happy blue and absolutely perfect. “It has been a favorite [of her youngest], he’s finally fully outgrown it. I’m sure [Major] will love it.” It fit so perfectly and the hood on it swallowed up his whole head, covering his ears and his cheeks. Finally, excitedly, he and I took two of the hand-warmer packets out of their wrapping and shook them to activate them. They warmed up as Major put on the gloves. He squealed in delight as they warmed up his hands and I got him fully zipped up.
Each of those little pieces made the whole that warmed my baby up on a frigid morning. Little thoughts turned into loving actions that hugged my child and kept him warm in single-digit weather. Nobody who was part of this moment knew what was going to happen when they took their little actions. Yet, because of them, Major and I were able to have this moment.
I know that I write it often… probably every Friday… but I believe it fully: the things that you do matter, Dear Reader. The big and the small, the funny and the serious. You simply have no idea when your actions will make a difference for someone you know. Sometimes, it’s a team effort, and your little piece fits ever so perfectly to make a wonderful whole. Never discount the power of your little piece!
It is another frigid night in Massachusetts, Dear Reader. At least the wind has died down. We kept our power last night and I am so grateful for that! Our boiler totally worked an all-nighter, with the radiators hissing and clanking all night long. Longtime readers know that I’m often in the business of speaking to inanimate objects so, yes, I did go down to my basement this morning to thank my boiler for its hard work. Then I got to work combating the cold creeping in through the windows by making french onion soup (an all day affair) and savory crepes, a new recipe and an instant favorite.
On this cold night, I have wishes for you. I wish you warmth above all: good slippers, good socks, more than one blanket, a heating system that won’t quit, and pajamas made of good, soft, fuzzy fabric. I wish you excellent hot chocolate (bonus if you sneak something boozy in there) or delicate, yet warming tea. I wish you quiet time in a warm space with a good book that takes you far, far away. I wish you warm hands on your shoulders or a loving kiss on your forehead. I wish you a moment to think about the little pieces around you that make up the whole of your warm moments: the blanket bought by a friend, the socks gifted by a grandmother, the tea often enjoyed with a favorite relative… what little pieces will make a difference in your weekend, Dear Reader? Don’t forget to thank the giver if you haven’t in a while. And remember, there are little pieces of your thought and care floating out there in the world too, Dear Reader. You’ll be a little piece of someone’s whole this weekend. What you do makes a difference, so never doubt that you are beloved to many people.
Until Monday, stay warm, spread warmth to others, and take care.