The last several days I've woken up to photos in my inbox from my parents, who are vacationing in Florida. Scenes of palm trees swaying in a warm ocean breeze seem quite a contrast when I turn my head and look out at the snow drifts that have been piling up for days. For a second I'm inclined to be jealous that I'm stuck in Chicago instead of on a sunny beach; but then something surprising has been happening. Now that I have a family, I find that in my heart I don't want to be anywhere but right here.
Of course a day on the beach would be much appreciated, but I'm finding that it is possible to find beauty in the starkness of winter. I'm realizing that it's okay to just be in the midst of this season, knowing that it is a passing season and will soon give way to warmth and new life. As someone who typically struggles with the gray and cold each year, I'm surprised to feel such peace and assurance that we will all soon make it through.
So too with this "season" of parenting young children. Some days it's so difficult to even see through the exhausted haze, and in these moments it's certainly okay, admirable even, to commit to taking things one day at a time. I do think, though, that one of the gifts of parenthood is a little bit wider perspective, when we find the time to look. Maybe that's the reason that winter looks different this year, and I'm grateful for it.