Saturday, January 14, 2012

Beasts and Snowballs

Brrr it's cold out there, folks. We've enjoyed a mild winter until now, and I dare to say that it's a lucky winter when we don't see accumulated snow until the middle of January. We've become a spoiled lot with warm toes and dusty scarves, but it's time to break out the gloves and double up on socks because that bitch called Old Man Winter has arrived. His grasp is icy and his breath will chill you to your bone.

In the past couple of days I've been holed up at my friend's house with my king sized fleece blanket as I ward off the shivers. Her kids warm my heart, even when they're ill tempered and being ungrateful brats. All they have to do is smile and give me a hug and I'm pretty much putty in their hands.

Her daughter turned 6 yesterday, and, as any friend of mine on facebook will tell you, it was a big occasion. She was awakened before 7 am and allowed to open three presents. Her mother and I took pictures of this event and they were plastered all over the social networking site within minutes. I had a taste of what a mother goes through to make her child's birthday a special day as I ran errands with her all over town. We picked up a cake, and cupcakes for her kindergarten class. We couldn't help ourselves as we stuffed the cart with decorations and balloons.

By the time she came home from school the living room was decked out with Balloons, Banners, Streamers and ribbons. I made an arrangement of colorful balloons and ribbons and hung them on the porch so that everybody who drove by saw that something special and momentous was happening there. She squealed in delight as she watched me curl the ribbon with scissors... a magical detail every child loves to witness (this I know first hand since I learned while watching my mother from a young age).

In the evening her friends came over and we celebrated with more presents, more cakes and lots of little girl giggles. The night held one more surprise for her as she learned she was being treated to a movie. Not just any movie... Beauty and the Beast in 3d at the theater! This was her first experience at the movie theater and she was in awe of the big popcorn machines and the seats that come with their own cup holders. She didn't want to wear the glasses, because they weren't purple and she didn't want to sit still and be quiet at first. But then, when Belle started singing and the flatware sprang to life in song and dance she settled in and gaped in amazement.

Her little friends decided it was nap time in the dark theater, but she stayed wide awake the entire time. This could be due to the amount of sugary soda she inhaled, or it could be accredited to the candy contraband we had stowed away in our purses. But I like to think it's because I kept telling her, "This is the best part! Watch!" And she did... with delight.

I will most likely be childless by choice, but I do enjoy these children who've wormed their ways into my heart. Yesterday, I learned a lot. I still love to see Disney Classics on the big screen and I thoroughly enjoy bringing a smile to a little girl's face on her birthday.

So, today I dug myself out of my blanket and forced my lazy ass off of my friend's couch until I made my way home. My friend, Lynsey come over for about ten minutes. My dog (her former dog), Damien was running around in the snow while her step-son bounded alongside him. She says to him, "Make a snowball and throw it at him." I watched as my dog attempted to catch it. The snow exploded in his mouth and all over his face. He shook it off and opened his mouth in a big doggy grin as his tail wagged with glee. I watched this take place over and over again and I said to Lynsey, "I didn't know he enjoyed being smacked in the face with snow."

"Oh yeah, he loves it."

"Hmm," I said, "You learn something new every day."

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