Slips, bumps and bruises

Published 5:09 pm Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hopefully, you’ve all enjoyed the wintry mix we’ve seen in Suffolk the last few days. It’s always nice to get an actual winter, not just the cold and wind. There is actually snow on the ground. And there’s a chance that there’s more to come.

There’s something about that white stuff on the ground that brings out the kid in us all. And I am no different in that regard.

The only problem with bringing out the kid in me is that the poor little fellow has to carry the adult in me around on his scrawny back. And the adult in me is no lightweight. The prospect of falling down in the snow — much like the toddler I saw Saturday taking a header into a snow bank and playfully coming up with a mouthful of fresh snow — takes on a different dimension as you get older.

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More than the pain that winter weather can inflict, though, this recent snow has taught me a few things about what snow means to me now, versus what it meant to me as a child.

When you’re older, slipping on the ice and almost getting violated by your own stairway is not the good time it once was. You don’t come up laughing like the child in you wants to. You come up wincing in pain and rubbing the affected area, embarrassing the child in you to the point where not even he wants to be seen with you.

I also learned that whoever coined the phrase “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” must have been making snow angels with a bald head at the time. Those little follicles make such a difference when you foolishly decide to dive into a fresh sheet of fallen snow and flail your arms and legs.

The part of my brain that stores the knowledge on how to tie my shoes and make a sandwich is still thawing from that experience. I also discovered I’m not as good at the flailing part of making a snow angel, since my best angel looked more like a snow dragonfly than anything else.

Luckily, though, I did learn that my childhood dreams of dancing in the Bolshoi were not completely misguided, when I discovered my ability to do a full split in the icy parking lot of my favorite Chinese restaurant, much to the delight of diners enjoying their Moo Shu. Unfortunately though, in that single act, I may have opened the window to a career in ballet but closed the door on any chance at fatherhood.

Having learned all these valuable lessons about monkeying around in the snow at my age and weight, a smart man would stay inside and admire the white stuff in all its splendor.

But the magic of snowfall, though, is simply this: with all the pain and embarrassment I endured through this first bout with snow this season, I still hope the forecasts are right and we get more powdered winter.

The kid in me, being fully aware of the weight and age of the adult counterpart he must carry to have a good time in the snow, happily awaits another chance to do it all over again — slips, bumps, bruises and all.