Monday, May 9, 2016

Parenthood: Week 151 – Warmth

Every night before I go to bed, I check in with Ollie, who we put to bed a couple hours earlier. I give him a kiss, tell him that I love him and that I’m proud of him and I tuck his blanket over him, which is usually half on him or tangled underneath him.

Keeping your child warm is one of those primal needs we feel as parents like making sure your kid isn’t hungry or protecting your child against others.

As infants, we try to keep little hats on their heads and socks on their feet, (which never seem to stay on). Whenever you feel a cold hand, you immediately try to warm it up and somehow by wrapping up your little one in blankets, you feel that they will be safer in that warmth.

Then these babies get older and it’s harder to keep them dressed appropriately.  It’s really hard to get toddlers to where gloves, hats, snow pants, winter jackets and boots. First off, they can’t really put on most of these things by themselves and when they decided they don’t want to put on a hat, a true struggle begins. It seems like the only time that Ollie would willingly put on a winter hat was during the spring.

With the winter there’s the whole juggling act of making sure that your kid doesn’t get too hot in the car, but doesn’t freeze on the way to the car. This usually requires warming up the car beforehand, mostly dressing your kid, rushing them into the car, and then taking off layers so that they are comfortable in the car. It’s not like they can take off their jacket themselves when they are under car seat straps.

Every parent tries and tries to get that hat on and get gloves on. I mean we are talking about below freezing wind-chill where we live, and Ollie will still fight us, but we try.

After seeing Ollie play in the snow, I actually think he’s tougher than I am. He’ll be rolling around in the snow and there’s snow all up in his boots, and his gloves and hat will be covered in snow and he will be having a grand time and I’m freezing wearing as much if not more cold weather gear than Ollie. Along with Buffy’s simply astounding ability to be out in the cold weather, I am always the first person who wants to come inside.

One of the first things we give our children is warmth, holding them close to us, keeping them protected against a coldness they do not have the ability to withstand. Maybe that’s why the feeling of warmth brings us such comfort, because it brings us back to that gift we get from our parents so early in life. As parent we hope that warmth never leaves our children and they feel safe and embraced throughout their lives.

I know that I can't always protect my boy from the cold, but for now, I can make sure that he's warm, feeling the comfort of his blanket in the dark of the night.

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