Dec 16, 2017
So here in the UK we’ve had a lot of snow this week.
It’s one of those events that is always notable. As such, it has the power to call to mind all the previous times in our memories that it has snowed. It’s easier for us to access our own childhoods through these less than common events, than through the day to day occurrences.
At the age of around six or so, I recall spending the earliest part of the first properly wintry day of the year, building a snowman in our front drive. I proudly finished him off with carrot nose, old scarf, and the rest of the traditional accoutrements, before being dragged out to help my mum on the weekly shopping trip.
When I returned, I was horrified to find that my precious snowman was punctured all over with small holes - as if he’d developed an allergy to the woollen scarf and had broken out in rash-like indentations.
I grew up the only girl in a cul-de-sac peopled by around half a dozen boys more or less my age, and the only explanation I could think of was that these child neighbours had sabotaged my work. (Not that I was prone to paranoia at all!)
In my imagination, they had attacked my snowman in my absence, poking him relentlessly with sticks, for reasons of their own that I couldn’t fathom, but deep inside swore to avenge.
It wasn’t until much later that I realised the truth of the matter was simply that it had rained whilst we’d been out, and the holes were merely caused by the laws of physics around H2O.
Thankfully, my revenge had gone un-wreaked, and I could get on with feeling slightly stupid in private.
It was an important lesson though - not to let crazy emotion dictate my actions until some rational investigation had taken place.
The daily pressures of adult life can make it difficult for us to take time to access our own childhood and remember just how all encompassing young feelings can be. When we are treated to events that help to transport us back, try and make the most of the insight, in order to offer our own children greater understanding and compassion.