The Heat is in the Tools

Up here in the frigid northeast, us Yankees and our near neighbors find ourselves in the brunt of winter. Howling winds, piled snow banks, broken shovels, dried skin, salty white roads, large heating bills and comforting hot drinks come to mind. If the constant drumbeat of the hardships that winter bring don’t stir ones desire for spring then the cold drafts that sneak through every hidden crack in your exterior wall making their way under your comfy living room chair might do the trick. Spring is becoming more and more like a dream in this frozen arena. A dream I know I can hope for is a comforting one.

In my mid 30s now, I think it’s safe to say I’m over my obsession with the playfulness of snow. As a married father of two young children and with a more balanced list of priorities, a constant agenda of riding on top of the white fluffy stuff is a thing of the past. Although, I do see opportunity to teach my boys the trade. My oldest (4 years old) has already made it down my slightly sloped back yard on a snow board without falling 2 years in a row now. I’ve mentioned the mountain in passing to him and he can’t wait to go. I laugh when I think about the expressions on his face when I first tried to explain to him what a chair-lift is. If only I could get a painting of the imagery my description produced in his little fruitful mind! I’d probable see something like my living room reclining chair with rocket boosting arms that can fly people up the mountain. Art deserving of a frame for sure.

While I’m ready for spring and seemingly more and more prone to find myself singing along with the anti-winter choir, I can’t help but think I should be feeding my children’s hunger to play in the snow. What an awful pull and at the same time a rewarding task. In my experience as a carpenter who worked through many winters I know what the slogan means that “the heat is in the tools.” Maybe a modified slogan can apply to those with children trying to stave this windy winter, “the heat is in the parenting.”

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